Of Men, S*x And Power, By Kazeem Akintunde

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There are several powerful men in world history who have been humbled due to their illegal dalliance with the opposite sex. These are powerful men who have held high offices but who lost their charm after being brought down from their noble height due to their inability to control their libido.

Bill Clinton, former President of the United States of America, USA, was almost impeached after his illicit sex scandal with an intern, Monica Lewinsky, became public. In December 1998, Clinton, from the Rose Graden of the White House, had to apologize to his countrymen and women for his conduct. His apology was not enough though, as the House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach him. He was however, saved by the Senate.

Former Italian Premier, Silvio Berlusconi, went to trial to defend himself against charges that he paid for sex with an underage prostitute and used his influence to cover it up. On 24 June 2013, Berlusconi was found guilty of paying for sex with the underaged El Mahroug, and of abusing his office. He was sentenced by the Court of First Instance to seven years in prison, one more year than had been requested by the prosecution, and banned from public office for life.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was a powerful man with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but he was arrested and charged to court for sexually assaulting and trying to rape a Manhattan Hotel maid. Nafissatou Diallo, a 33-year-old housekeeper at the upmarket Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan, alleged that Strauss-Kahn attacked her on 14 May, 2011, as she attempted to clean his room. Diallo alleged that Strauss-Kahn ran at her naked, molested her and forced her to perform oral sex on him. The claims led to a criminal investigation against the IMF boss, and to his house arrest in Manhattan. He was forced to pay huge sums of money in the region of $6m for the prosecution to drop the charges against Strauss-Kahn. He was, however, forced to resign from his top post at the IMF.

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Victor Emmanuel, son of Italy’s last king was stripped of his title in 2006, after his arrest for getting involved in a sex scandal with a prostitute.

In Africa, some of our leaders are also not without records of sex scandals trailing them. The late dictator, Gnasingbe Eyadema of Togo comes to reckoning here. He was renowned for his big appetite for sex and known for always sleeping with the wives of his male Ministers and few female Ministers. One of his Ministers, said to have a very beautiful wife, was said to have hid her from Eyadema so that he would not lay his lecherous paws on her.

In the same league with him was the late Zairean dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko. Mobutu was said to be as lecherous as a he-goat. Again, former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, is also reported to love women and was reputed to have married at least six times.

In Africa, when a man of power uses his manhood well, he is seen as dominating as well as conquering his environment; a man of power with strong virility. In this regard, Robert Mugabe of Zambia comes to reckoning as he never hid the illicitness of his virility by dating Grace, his secretary, who he later married, even before his wife died. As at the time the duo got married, Mugabe was 72 while Grace was 31. The wedding was termed ‘Wedding of the Century’ by Zimbabwean media, and Grace was known as ‘Gucci Grace’ due to her love for Italian products.

Coming home to Nigeria, we have had virile leaders who used their manhood to their ultimate satisfaction. The late dictator, General Sani Abacha, was said to have died while ‘working’ on two Indian prostitutes imported for him inside the presidential villa after consuming a large amount of Viagra to pump up his virility. Two-time lucky President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo also loves women. During his second coming as President, Obasanjo and his Vice, Atiku Abubakar, went to ‘war’ in the build-up to the 2003 re-election saga and it was during the ‘roforofo’ fight that Atiku alleged that Obasanjo bought a 607 Peugeot car for a woman friend who resided in Abeokuta with slush funds accruing from the coffers of the Petroleum Trust Development Fund, (PTDF).

Like Mugabe, Obasanjo was then married to Stella, Nigeria’s First Lady at that time. Again, in 2018, Obasanjo’s son, Gbenga, even alleged in a court affidavit that his father was having an affair with his own wife, Moji. A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, was also rumoured to be Obasanjo’s woman friend.

Nigeria has also been blessed with a former leader who has the habit of leaving meeting venues to have quickies with his countless girlfirends. Self-styled military President, Ibrahim Babangida, has also been reported to have had very high libido as a ruler. In a 2013 book authored by Debo Basorun, a military aide to Babangida, he wrote about how, on a trip to France, the late First Lady, Maryam Babangida, literarily pummeled her husband for his presidential libidinous rascality. The book is titled ‘Honour for Sale: An Inside Account of the Murder of Dele Giwa’. If you search well, you may still get a copy to buy. Basorun wrote that there was a meeting which lasted into the wee hours of the following day and that IBB used that opportunity to engage in illicit sex with another woman. But Maryam got to know of the dalliance due to the scent of the woman’s perfume in IBB’s hotel suite. With the hotel door under lock, Maryam was alleged to have pummeled her husband with heavy blows and his face decorated with fingernail marks. By the time the aide succeeded in opening the door, they saw their C-In-C with a face that looked like it had been run over by a moving trailer. He was panting amid sweats, with a roughened military service dress which had some buttons torn off by a woman scorned into fury by the stray libido of her general husband.

In the last few days, another of such sex scandals broke in the country when the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, wrote to the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Folashade Esan, that the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa, was sexually harassing one of his staff, Mrs. Simisola Fajemirokun- Ajayi. Fajemirokun-Ajayi, had through her lawyer from the Chamber of Mr. Femi Falana, written a petition to her boss alleging that Lamuwa has been pestering her for sex. She alleged that the sexual harassment has become so persistent and troubling to the point that she has begun to be apprehensive of the possibility of getting raped, raising concerns about her safety in the workplace. Lamuwa, she wrote in her petition, made inappropriate remarks and advances to her on different occasions, causing her to be apprehensive and uncomfortable with carrying out her duties.

She went on to cite examples of such incidents. On October 7, last year, she alleged, the permanent secretary inappropriately suggested to her to visit his hotel room at the end of President Bola Tinubu’s 4D policy review. Fajemirokun-Ajayi also alleged that the Perm. Sec. initially approached her to inquire as to why she did not sleep at the hotel and then informed her that he would want her to come to his hotel room after the event. She had then explained that she was a nursing mother and needed to go home to care for her baby. That baby, she alleged, was interpreted to be a man when the Perm. Sec. said “Is it a big baby or small baby”, suggesting that if the baby is a big baby, he would like to find out so that he can join.

Despite expressing her displeasure about his conduct, Mrs. Fajemirokun -Ajayi said that the Perm. Sec. continued this line of inappropriate anecdotes throughout the retreat.

She cited another incident which occurred on November 10, 2023, when she was in the Perm. Sec.’s conference room to discuss plans to digitize the Ministry. In the course of their discussion, the Perm. Sec, she alleged, invited her for a meeting later that afternoon with a team from Galaxy Backbone. While the conversation was ongoing, Ambassador Lamuwa allegedly derailed from the topic of the meeting and instead, invited her for a private trip to Hong Kong. There, he assured the lady that her life would never remain the same after the trip.

Upon receiving the petition, Foreign Affairs Minister, Yusuf Tuggar, forwarded the petition to the office of the Head of Service with a cover letter in which he expressed concerns about the gravity of the allegations levelled against the Permanent Secretary and called for an investigation. Tuggar urged the HoS to handle the allegations in accordance with Civil Service rules with a promise to make himself available if need be.

Yemi Esan, the HoS, has now formally suspended the Perm Sec and has ordered a probe into the allegation. But the man in the eye of the storm, Lamuwa, has however, denied the allegation of sexual harassment. Lamuwa, who spoke through his lawyer, Mr. Audu Anuga, denied the multiple instances of sexual harassment brought against him, alleging that Mrs. Fajemirokun-Ajayi’s malicious claims were triggered by his constant rejection of her improper requests about the Ministry’s finances. Lamuwa, through his lawyer, alleged that Mrs. Fajemirokun-Ajayi, unfamiliar with civil service rules and processes, asked for access to policy files and even financial records of high-level Ministry activities.

He denied making sexual advances, suggestive comments or innuendos that requested any form of untoward relationship between himself and Mrs. Fajemirokun-Ajayi. He said the incident at President Bola Tinubu’s 4D policy review in 2023 was in a colloquial conversation which involved other participants. “One participant even responded jokingly that when a woman says ‘her baby’, it could mean either her husband or one of her children, of which he innocuously joked asking ‘How big is the baby?’ Mr. Lamuwa, in the document, maintained that those conversations were made jokingly and without any sexual undertone.

The boldness exhibited by Fajemirokun-Ajayi to speak out has forced several other women to table similar allegations against the Perm Sec.

Now that a probe panel is to be set up by the HoS, it now has the arduous task of ferreting what really transpired between the duo. Some staff of the Ministry are, however, relieved that the Perm Sec is on suspension as there have been several instances where female staff have complained about his conduct in the past. They allege that the Perm Sec loves women and that some even throw themselves at him in exchange for favour and good posting. In fact, some are already calling for a review of his recent posting of staff outside the country as they alleged that many of them were women who ordinarily did not merit such posting.

It is still early in the day to judge what would happen to the 32 years that Lamuwa has put into the service of the country. What is however certain is that a glorious career has been tainted by his love for women.

Men of power and influence have several women at their beck and call. But to them, the real thrill is in the ‘hunting’ for women that play ‘hard to get’ and that is where many of them have met their waterloo. For those who think less of the power of sex in high places, Oscar Wilde, an Irish poet and playwright, was ready to shock them when he stated that ‘everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power’, he had written. Let’s wait, watch and see how the latest sexual scandal would pan out.

See you next week.

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