Witnesses in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) who are supposed to testify against suspended Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa regarding allegations of sexual harassment against female staff are facing intimidation and witch-hunt from senior officers loyal to him.

The officers, reportedly his cronies, are attempting to silence and coerce the potential witnesses, creating a hostile environment that undermines the investigation and potentially compromises the truth.

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Some of the workers in the ministry and missions abroad, under the aegis of the Concerned and Patriotic Foreign Service Officers, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, disclosed this in a 28 paragraph point ‘Non-Paper’ written to President Bola Tinubu.

The petition, dated July 3, 2024, is titled: “Appeal To Mr. President To Address Institutional Challenges In The Achievement Of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy Objectives”.

Thepaan reported on June 10, 2024 that Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar had written to the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, officially complaining about allegations of sexual harassment against the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ibrahim Lamuwa.

In a petition obtained by thepaan, a married employee of the ministry, Mrs. Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi, had disclosed the excesses of the Perm Sec through her lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), and urged the minister to investigate the Perm Sec.

She had asked that disciplinary actions should be taken against Lamuwa to serve as a deterrent to others.

The Concerned and Patriotic Foreign Service Officers, in the letter to the President, exposed a disturbing report of Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa’s alleged sexual misconduct during his diplomatic postings.

The letter revealed a pattern of inappropriate behaviour, hinting at a history of sexual exploits that had raised serious concerns about his fitness for office.

“Particularly disturbing is Ambassador Lamuwa’s decadence that has become a recurring feature in his entire public service career. His unbridled sexual assaults and harassments on minors and women is legendary. Cases include harassment of neighbours’ children, as a young Officer, while occupying government property at the Foreign Affairs Quarters in Gwarimpa, Abuja, the inglorious removal from his post in Canada to avoid an impending declaration of Persona Non-Grata (PNG), and sexual assault cases involving a large number of locally-recruited Staff in our Mission in Dakar, Senegal.

“In Senegal, while serving as Ambassador and Principal Representative of Mr. President, Ambassador Lamuwa threatened a female bank official, saddled with the management of the Embassy’s account, that he would ensure the movement of the Mission’s account to another financial institution, in the event that she does not agree to engage in sexual activities with him.”

The group disclosed that it took the voice recording of the incident, before Ambassador Lamuwa could withdraw from his inherent evil intentions.

“More recently at the Ministry’s Headquarters, a married female Policy Officer tasked with the implementation of Presidential Reforms could not resist the intense pressure and she succumbed to Ambassador Lamuwa’s threat and was duly rewarded for her compliance in the yet-to-be-released 2024 posting exercise, without due diligence.

“In addition, the media has also been awashed lately with the trending case involving an aide of his Boss and several unreported ones by female Officers in the Ministry, including CCTV footage of this shameful act in the Office.”

The concerned staff regretted that all these incidents involving Lamuwa could have been avoided, if a system of checks and balances was in place in the administration of the Ministry, with the appointment of Under-Secretaries.

“With his global reputation as a sexual pervert and predator, there is no doubt among Staff, friends, colleagues and acquaintances that he is capable of committing the recent sexual assault case levelled against him by Mrs. Simisola Fajemirokun-Ajayi.”

They added, “while the civil service disciplinary and administrative procedure is on-going regarding the current case of sexual harassment, there are reports that potential witnesses in the Ministry that are supposed to testify against Ambassador Lamuwa are now being witch-hunted, harassed and intimated by Senior Officers, who are his cronies and loyalists in the Ministry.”

The Concerned and Patriotic Foreign Service Officers urged the Head of Service and other high-ranking officials involved in the investigation to demonstrate responsible leadership and maintain a zero-tolerance stance on Ambassador Lamuwa’s alleged sexual misconduct.

They cautioned against compromising the disciplinary process, emphasising that a thorough and uncompromising investigation was crucial to restoring trust and confidence in the service.

The officers stressed that the nation was closely watching the outcome, making it essential to ensure a fair and transparent process that upholds accountability and sets a strong precedent for public officials.

“More importantly, the Head of Service should be directed to request the Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage in the Office with time-stamps, as this would ensure closure in the on-going process.”