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Minister petitions Head of Service over allegations of sexual harassment against Perm. Sec.

MINISTER of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, has petitioned the Head of Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan, over allegations of sexual harassment levelled against the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ibrahim Lamuwa.

According to a Punch report, the petition followed complaints by the ministry,’s employee, Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi, that Lamuwa had made sexual advances towards her.

The minister urged Yemi-Esan to commence investigations into the allegations made by the employee.

“I am compelled to write to inform you of a formal complaint against the permanent secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, on allegations of sexual harassment.

“Bearing in mind the gravity of the matter, I feel it necessary to draw your attention to it and ask that you handle it accordingly,” Tuggar noted.

Ajayi had lodged an official complaint through her lawyer, Femi Falana, a senior advocate.

In her letter of complaint, written by her legal representatives, Ajayi alleged that the harassment by Lamuwa had persisted for a while.

“October 7, 2023, during the first policy retreat to review President Tinubu’s 4D policy, Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa approached our client to inquire as to why she did not sleep at the hotel and informed her that he would want her to come to his room after the event. Our client explained that she was a nursing mother and needed to go home to care for her baby.

“Dissatisfied with this, he reiterated his sexual advancement to our client by saying “Is it a big baby or small baby – he suspected it’s a big baby and would like to find out so he can join”.

He, however, continued this line of inappropriate anecdotes throughout the retreat,” the letter of complaint read.

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Ajayi also disclosed that the permanent secretary earlier requested that she embark on a journey to Hong Kong with him and had consistently demanded tight hugs from her.

According to the letter of complaint, the issue had been raised previously with the minister, but the harassment persisted.



    “The honourable minister would recall that sometime in March 2024, our client discussed with you concerning her safety for fear of not being raped by Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa resulting from the consistent sexual harassment reported even as a married woman.

    “Upon her unfortunate predicament with the permanent secretary, the honourable minister assured our client of a change of behavior as he had confronted him,” the letter read in part.

    It also disclosed that many other female employees had been sexually harassed by Lamuwa on various occasions in the past.

    “In the circumstances, we humbly request you to use your revered office to cause a detailed investigation to be carried out into the facts presented in this petition against Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa and if found liable, appropriate disciplinary actions should be meted against him as this will serve as a deterrent against future reccurrence of such infractions,” the letter further read.


    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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