“I didn’t ask her to come to my room” – FG official denies sexual harassment allegations

In response to allegations made against him by Mrs. Simisola O. Fajemirokun-Ajayi, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Adamu Ibrahim Lamuwa, has provided a detailed account of the incidents in question.

In a statement released today, Ambassador Lamuwa addressed each allegation individually, providing his version of events and offering explanations for his actions.

Regarding the Policy 4D Retreat on October 7, 2023, Ambassador Lamuwa clarified that his interaction with Mrs. Fajemirokun-Ajayi was not personal and took place in a public setting among other participants. He denied any inappropriate conduct during the retreat.

Concerning a meeting with the Galaxy Backbone Team on November 10, 2023, Ambassador Lamuwa refuted claims of any private discussion or invitation for Mrs. Fajemirokun-Ajayi to travel with him. He emphasized that such arrangements would not have been feasible due to her role as a Special Assistant to the Minister.

In response to allegations related to office allocation in March 2024, Ambassador Lamuwa explained that Mrs. Fajemirokun-Ajayi’s concerns were promptly addressed, and she was provided with an office and necessary equipment.

Ambassador Lamuwa also denied any confrontation from the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs during an Iftar Dinner, stating that there were no negative remarks made about Mrs. Fajemirokun-Ajayi during the event.

Regarding a missed call from Mrs Fajemirokun-Ajayi during his lunch break on May 10, 2024, Ambassador Lamuwa admitted allowing her to see him despite his usual preference for privacy during breaks. However, he denied any inappropriate behaviour during their interaction.

Addressing other specific incidents mentioned in the allegations, Ambassador Lamuwa provided his perspective and denied any wrongdoing.

He emphasized his commitment to upholding due process and professionalism in his role as Permanent Secretary.

In his statement, Ambassador Lamuwa maintained his innocence and suggested that Mrs Fajemirokun-Ajayi’s actions may be linked to unresolved financial matters and access to policy files. He reiterated his dedication to his duties and emphasized his clean disciplinary record throughout his career.

Part of the statement read:

“At the Policy 4D Retreat on 7th October 2023: As the Permanent Secretary, checking on all participants to ensure that everybody was properly accommodated, my question to Mrs. Simisola O. Fajemirokun-Ajayi was not personal.

“I did not ask her to come to my room when other staff directly working in my office escorted me to my room, by bringing my bag and other documents.

“They include my Personal Assistant and Driver. Mrs. Simisola O. Fajemirokun-Ajayi did not come to my room with them or alone, at any time during the Retreat.

“As for being a nursing mother, the discussion was held in public glare with so many other participants – it was not a one-on-one discussion I had with her.

“I am fully aware that she is a married woman and had once said in a group conversation, that she does not hug men, she does that to only children and women. I cannot precisely recall on which occasion she made this remark, as we have been meeting with her and so many groups of people in the course of our official engagements.

“I believe, Mrs. Simisola O. Fajemirokun-Ajayi’s action might not be unconnected with my failure to pay her Davos bills, or give her access to policy files and financial records of the Ministry. For example, on 12th January, 2023, while in Davos, on a WhatsApp call.

“It is clear that there are two issues that have been worrying Mrs. Simisola O. Fajemirokun-Ajayi and was therefore waiting for any opportunity to get back at me.

“But whatever happens, I believe, I was exercising my duty as the Accounting Officer of the Ministry by ensuring that Due Process was followed all the time and that SA’s (Political Appointees) do not have access to policy files. All public expenditures are properly documented before payments are made.”

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