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Sexual Harassment Allegations Mount As Three More Women Testify Against Suspended Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Perm Sec




The sexual harassment claims against the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ibrahim Lamuwa, have been reinforced as three additional women have come forward with testimonies similar to those of ministerial aide, Simisola Fajemirokun-Ajayi.

Naija News earlier reported that Fajemirokun-Ajayi had accused the permanent secretary, Ibrahim Lamuwa, of sexual harassment, prompting an investigation by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF).

The allegations against Lamuwa were brought to the attention of the Head of Service by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, through a petition submitted on behalf of a staff member, Simisola Ajayi.

Lamuwa, who has been suspended, denied the allegations, stating that the complainant misunderstood the instances of sexual harassment mentioned in her petition.

However, PRNigeria’s findings revealed that at least three more women have approached the probe panel to file similar sexual harassment allegations against the Permanent Secretary.

Meanwhile, the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), the labour union in the Ministry, accused the permanent Secretary of high-handedness, maladministration, favouritism, and financial improprieties. According to them, these actions had significantly affected the welfare and rights of the workers.

The staff union, in a petition dated June 11, 2024, and directed to Minister Ambassador Tuggar, accused the Permanent Secretary of pushing staff welfare, allowances, emoluments, training, and related issues to the background.

They specifically pointed out the denial of various benefits that the workers were entitled to, which had been a source of their discontent for months.

In the petition obtained by PRNigeria, the union detailed the various benefits workers were entitled to but had been denied by Ambassador Lamuwa for months.

They accused him of unduly and illegally favouring a certain category of people and victimizing those who did not comply with his wishes in the areas of posting, training, and other benefits such as Hajj seats.

The petition listed several alleged offences by the Permanent Secretary against the labour union, including delays in payment of benefits, promotion, and staff conversion; lack of transparency in posting exercises; delays in clothing allowance payments; discrimination in the First 28 Days Allowance; unfair distribution of 2024 Hajj seats; inadequate posting of Batch B officers to foreign missions; poor sanitation and hygiene due to insufficient water supply; lack of work tools; dilapidated office buildings; and refusal to pay the 25th regular course allowance for nine months, among other issues.

The petition, signed by JNC Chairman Comrade Ali Seidu and Assistant General Secretary Comrade Akpana S.E, called on the Minister to address their complaints and the series of alleged injustices by the Permanent Secretary to avoid drastic measures from the workers.