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Three More Women Testify Against Suspended Permanent Secretary Of Foreign Affairs Ministry Over Alleged Sexual Harassment

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At least three more women have testified against the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa on the same allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by one Simisola Fajemirokun-Ajayi who is said to be an aide to the minister.

Simisola Fajemirokun-Ajayi had earlier written a petition to the minister which forced the latter to equally write to the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan, to probe the allegation.

 

This made the Head of Service set up a panel to investigate the allegations after suspending the Permanent Secretary, pending the probe’s outcome.

 

However, findings by PRNigeria revealed that at least three more women had approached the probe panel to lodge similar allegations of sexual harassment against the Permanent Secretary.

 

 

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

 

 

 

In a petition addressed to the Minister, Ambassador Tuggar and dated 11th of June, 2024, the staff union accused the Permanent Secretary of relegating all issues that had to do with staff welfare, allowances, emoluments, training etc to the background.

 

 

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

 

 

 

In the petition obtained by PRNigeria, the union listed and explained in detail the series of benefits that the workers were entitled to that Ambassador Lamuwa had been denying them for months.

 

 

They accused him of unduly and illegally favouring a certain category of people and victimising those who did not dance to his tunes, in the area of posting, training and other benefits like Hajj seats.

 

 

Some of his alleged crimes against the labour union as listed in the petition include delay in payment of some benefits, delay in promotion and conversion of staff, lack of transparency in posting exercise, delay in paying of clothing allowance, discrimination in paying First 28 Days Allowance, lack of fairness in the distribution of the 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, refusal to pay the 25th regular course allowance for nine months among others.

 

In the petition signed by JNC Chairman, Comrade Ali Seidu, and Assistant General Secretary, Comrade Akpana S.E, the union urged the Minister to look into their grievances and address the series of injustice allegedly done by the Permanent Secretary to avoid a drastic action by the workers.

 

“Consequent upon the maladministration, dwindling level of productivity occasioned by the administrative leadership apathy in the ministry, the JNC has been engaging with the management thinking its solidarity with the authorities of the Ministry will yield positive results and prompt action on pending issues.

 

“Unfortunately, there was no corresponding improvement instead, the management has become worse, unreceptive and very harsh to everyone who dares to speak and ask questions. Victimisation, intimidation, and harassment has become a tool the management uses to shut critics while the staff of the Ministry continue to suffer.

 

“The staff of the Ministry are outraged by the egregious neglect, surreptitious administrative skullduggery, manipulations and commercialisation of the Ministry’s activities by the Permanent Secretary and his allies under the guise of rejuvenation. They have introduced harmful practices that threaten the very fabric of our Institution. We demand an immediate end to all their destructive policies and a return to the principles of fairness, equity and transparency. We call on the Honourable Minister to direct the authorities to investigate these grievances and take swift action.

 

“We the staff hereby give a 21-days ultimatum to the Management to immediately address the grievances outlined in our communiqué, failure to do so will be met with strong resistance,” the petition read in part.

 

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OLAJUMOKE OMOLOLA, CO-ORDINATOR, PEP4NW LAGOS STATE, WINS UNICAF’s ESSAY COMPETITION

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The Co-ordinator, Progressive Empowerment Project for Nigerian Women (PEP4NW) Lagos State Chapter, Comrade Olajumoke Omolola emerges first runner up in UNICAF’S Essay Competition under the topic: THE ROLE OF EDUCATION IN EMPOWERING TO SUCCEED, in commemoration of International Women’s Day 2024.

The competition was designed as annual event to raise the voice of women and bring out the creative ingenuity in them.

Announcing the result of the Essay Competition, Kehinde Ayodele Olasanmi, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, UNICAF, states that apart from the price money, announced winners – 1st, 2nd, 3rd in the competition will also get a generous UNICAF scholarship of 75% to study online with UNICAF, in fulfilment of UNICAF’s vision of increasing access to quality higher education.

“I’m proud to have come 2nd in a competition that had participants from outside the shores of Nigeria” says an elated Olajumoke Omolola. “I’m also honoured and humbled to have participated in the essay competition. Beyond the price money and the scholarship, UNICAF has also significantly raised the stakes in our collective drive to deepen the economic space with the active involvement of the Nigerian Women in creating sustainable means of livelihood. An empowered woman is an equipped woman with the requisite tools to play her role in the development of the country.”

The topic of the Essay Competition resonates with the objective of Progressive Empowerment Project for Nigerian Women which has been involved in activities, programmes and projects designed to elevate women and expand the scope of their participation in economic activities, particularly at grassroots level.

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N109.4bn Fraud: We Didn’t Promise Ex-Accountant General No Prosecution – EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied promising a former Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, that he will not be prosecuted if he volunteers information relating to his N109 billion corruption allegation.

An EFCC official with the Kano office of the commission, Abdulhamid Isa Muri, on Tuesday, told an FCT High Court that there was no truth in the claim by Idris that he was promised non-prosecution.

Led in evidence by prosecuting counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe Esq, during a trial-within-trial to ascertain the voluntariness of Idris’ statement, Muri said he obtained the statement voluntarily, adding that the former AG was never detained in its Kano office.

Idris was re-arraigned last October 27, 2022, on 13-count charges bordering on alleged misappropriation of the sum of N109bn, alongside Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.

Justice Yusuf Halilu has fixed October 29 to enable Idris open his defence on the trial.

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Court orders Emefiele to forfeit $1.4m bribery proceeds

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The Federal High Court in Lagos, on Tuesday, ordered the final forfeiture of the sum of $1,426,175.14 linked to the immediate-past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

Justice Ayokunle Faji ordered the final forfeiture of the funds to the Federal Government.

The final forfeiture order followed an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday.

The anti-graft agency had earlier on May 29, 2014, secured an interim order temporarily forfeiting the money.

The judge ordered the publication of the court order in the newspapers to give anyone interested in the funds to appear in court and show cause why it should not be permanently forfeited.

At the Tuesday hearing, counsel for the EFCC, Mrs Bilkisu Buhari-Bala, said the commission had complied with the publication order and no one had come forward to claim the money.

According to her, the funds were proceeds of unlawful activities by Emefiele.

Buhari-Bala said investigation by the EFCC revealed that the ex-CBN governor received the dollars as kick-backs for approving forex allocation to multinational firms during the forex crisis in the country.

The EFCC lawyer said the court was empowered by Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud-related Offences  Act to make the forfeiture order.

The forfeiture of the $1.4m on Tuesday comes only days after the same court ordered the permanent forfeiture of choice properties worth N12.18bn from Emefiele.

The forfeiture order was granted by Justice C.J. Aneke.

In an affidavit filed in support of the Tuesday forfeiture application, an EFCC investigator, David Jayeoba, said the anti-graft agency uncovered the money through credible and direct intelligence.

“Part of the said funds, which represent the proceeds of Godwin Emefiele and his cronies’ unlawful activities, are retained in the accounts now sought to be forfeited.

“Uzeobo Anthony and Adebanjo Olurotimi were procured by Godwin Emefiele and used to conceal, retain and disguise funds reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

“Between 2021 and 2022, when accessibility to forex in Nigeria was difficult, several international entities operating in Nigeria had to resort to different means to source forex.

“Both Uzeobo Anthony and Adebanjo Olurotimi used to collect bribes and gratification on behalf of Godwin Emefiele to get approval for accessing forex.

“One of the entities paid a total sum of $26,552,000.00 into the account domiciled in Titan Trust account number 2000000500.

“The said credits came into the account on the 9th of November 2021: $6,450,000; 15th of November 2021: $6,050,000.00; 16th of December 2021: $5,400,000.00; 23rd of December 2021: $652,000, 31th January 2022: $3,000,000.00 and on the 21st September 2022: $5,000,000.00.

“The investigation traced the funds to having been fixed into interest-yielding accounts, dissipated and laundered through a foreign account in Mauritius, and transported back to Nigeria under disguise.

“Of the total sum of $26, 555, 000.00 received by Donatus Limited, the balance standing in the said account as of today is $1,426, 175. 14.

“It is the balance in the account that the applicant seeks to forfeit to the Federal Government of Nigeria, which has been traced to be the proceeds of unlawful activities of Godwin Emefiele and his cronies.

“That investigation further revealed that the international entities sourcing for forex were pressured into parting with huge funds to access forex during the period. And that the signatories to the account warehousing the sum of $1,426, 175.14) sought to be forfeited are at large and are making frantic efforts to dissipate the funds electronically.”

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