FACT-CHECK: Did ‘four female’ staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs accuse the Perm. Sec. of sexual harassment? - Ripples Nigeria
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FACT-CHECK: Did ‘four female’ staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs accuse the Perm. Sec. of sexual harassment?

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Claim: Four female members of staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have accused the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, of sexual harassment.

Verdict: Misleading.

Full Text:

An Instagram blog, @remedy_blog recently claimed that the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, has been accused of sexual harassment by four female workers.

The claim was a caption to a clip showing workers reportedly protesting against the alleged sexual abuse at the Ministry. The post has been engaged and shared by more than 70 accounts on the social media platform.

A screenshot of the Instagram post

The claim was made after the widely reported news of the unfolding sexual scandal broke out on June 11.

The media had reported that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, had officially lodged a complaint with the Head of Service of the Federation regarding allegations of sexual harassment against the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Amb. Lamuwa.

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Ripples Nigeria gathered that a worker in the Ministry, Mrs Simisola Fajemirokun-Ajayi, had in a petition accused the permanent secretary of persistent sexual harassment.

The petition dated May 29, 2024, was filed and addressed to the minister by Mrs. Fajemirokun-Ajayi through her lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN).

Verification:

In order to validate the claim, Ripples Nigeria reviewed the minister’s letter to the Head of Service (HoS) alongside the petition.

In a three-paragraph letter, the minister demanded a probe into the allegations.

A copy of the minister’s letter

Also, a review of the three-page petition revealed that it contains eight “facts” which the petitioner sought intervention on.

A collage of the petition

The number 8 ‘fact’ reads: “It is pertinent to state that a discreet investigation conducted by our client revealed that more women are with unadorned allegations against the Permanent Secretary, particularly female directors who were almost raped in the hotel rooms and female foreign service officers who have been harassed, threatened and removed from trips, postings and other privileges because they declined to comply with Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s uncontrolled sexual urges.”

It should be noted that neither the letter nor the petition mentioned a specific number of likely victims of alleged sexual harassment involved in the scandal.

Conclusion:

The Instagram post is misleading; neither the minister’s letter reporting the alleged sexual assault against the Permanent Secretary, nor the petition by the victim, disclosed that four workers were sexually harassed.

Also, no further details were provided to support the claim, an indication that the blog wants to mislead the audience to get engagement.

By Quadri Yahya

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