Sexual Harassment Against Perm Sec: ICPC summons Foreign Affairs officials


The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has invited an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Simisola Fajemirokun-Ajayi, for an interview regarding her sexual harassment allegations against the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ibrahim Lamuwa.

In a letter dated June 11, 2024, and addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, the ICPC requested that Mrs. Fajemirokun-Ajayi be released to appear before the Commission on Friday, June 14, 2024, at 10:00 am.

The invitation comes as the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) has already initiated an investigation into the matter after receiving a petition from Mrs. Fajemirokun-Ajayi, who serves as an aide to the minister.

Reacting to the letter, the ICPC spokesperson said; “There is a system for investigation. We have to see all the allegations before we know who to invite, it may extend beyond the perm secretary.

“We do not know the allegations. So, she has been invited; the letter has been written to the ministry, the people to be invited have been invited.

“Everybody involved in this matter will have their day with us. We are not leaving any stone unturned.”

The Special Assistant on Media and Communications Strategy to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alkasim Abdulkadir, claimed not to be aware of the development, but admitted that he only saw the news about the invitation of their staff by the anti-graft agency in the media.

In her petition, Mrs. Fajemirokun-Ajayi alleged that she faced persistent sexual harassment from Mr. Lamuwa, claiming that his conduct created an unsafe work environment and that she became apprehensive about getting raped.

She cited instances where the permanent secretary allegedly made inappropriate remarks and advances towards her, causing her discomfort in carrying out her duties.

However, Mr. Lamuwa has denied the allegations, stating that Mrs. Fajemirokun-Ajayi misconstrued the alleged instances of sexual harassment.

He accused her of making “malicious claims” against him due to his constant rejection of her “improper requests” regarding the ministry’s finances.

The ICPC’s involvement in the matter adds another layer of scrutiny to the allegations, as the agency has a dedicated unit to handle cases of sexual harassment, treating it as an abuse of office under the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The Commission is currently prosecuting the suspended Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Calabar, Cyril Ndifon, in a separate sexual harassment case at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

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