Ghana’s ambassador to Brazil, Samuel Kofi Dadey, 59, paid R$45,000 to a former employee to stop, via the settlement, a lawsuit in which he was accused of sexual harassment.

The case involves allegations of ***, threats, dismissal and an unusual ingredient: the immunity from prosecution of the accused, him being a diplomatic representative of another country.

Helen Adewonuola, a Nigerian naturalized Brazilian, 40, who was Mr. Dadey’s secretary until July, accused her boss of threatening to fire her if she did not accept to have *** with him. She said she caved in to pressure and had *** with the ambassador four times. In January of the following year, Adewonuola made the first formal complaint to the Civil Police of the Federal District. A year later, in 2010, the employee filed a court action for damages.

The criminal complaint was withdrawn in February 2009 after a conversation between Adewonuola’s husband and the Ghanaian Ambassador.
The civil suit was finalized last month, after an agreement in which the ambassador agreed to pay R$45,000. Even after going to the police and instituting civil proceedings, Adewonuola was kept on as an official of the embassy.

She was only fired in July after she reported the incident and reporters sought out the Ambassador to obtain his opinion regarding the case.According to Mr. Dadey, until then the employee had not “tried to ruin the” image of their country. The change in the employee’s attitude, he said, forced him to fire her. The ambassador denies having had any extra official relationships with her.
The former official of the embassy says she succumbed to the onslaughts of the ambassador for fear of losing her job during a very difficult period in her life. “My husband was unemployed and my youngest son was 4 months old,” she says.

Ambassadors have civil and criminal immunity, according to international treaties incorporated by Brazil. But According to the STF (Supreme Federal Court), all states may be sued in court for labor issues.

Ambassador Samuel Kofi Dadey said he “never had *** with the former employee or any form of relationship that was not strictly related to work”.According to Dadey, the complaints of harassment are a reaction to the fact that the employee’s functions were changed after some wrong attitude on her part. He said he was notified of criminal charges to the police after having opened a second secretarial position at the embassy. He said he believes the charges to the police were motivated by the official’s fear of being replaced.
He also says that in June 2009, she returned from vacation four days late without any communication. Dadey’s attorney said he had nothing to declare.