Presidency cautions staff against breach of classified information

The Permanent Secretary, State House, Mr Tijjani Umar, has cautioned members of staff against divulging classified and unauthorised information.

Umar handed down this warning on Tuesday in Abuja during the Administration of Oath of Secrecy to some members of staff of the State House.

No fewer 42 members of staff took the oath which was administered by Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court.

The permanent secretary warned that such unauthorised disclosure was a breach of the law and would attract consequences.

“I want to begin my remarks by saying that this exercise for me is the beginning of doing what is in our respective offices.

“Breach of classified information and documents is inimical to the delivery of service.

“Therefore, we found it necessary to assist this segment of staff who are directly dealing with classified information.

“This is a very peculiar environment and, therefore, it is important to us to remind them about their duties, their oaths, their responsibilities in all things they are handling and then the consequences of mishandling such kind of responsibilities.’’

According to Umar, taking the oath are staff of the C-in-C Secretariat; that is, Secretariat of the President; staff the Registry of the Vice President, staff the Registry of Chief of Staff to the President and the staff of the Registry of the Permanent Secretary.

He said that others were staff of the Secret Registry of the State House and the Open Registry.

“Cumulatively, these members of staff are the ones that day to day handle some of the most sensitive information going back and forth in our offices and in our environment.

“It is very important to us to discharge our responsibility and our obligations and to let them understand that we are going to apply the rules.

as an institution is held together by laws, by rules and by regulations and laws, rules and regulations are there to be respected, to be enforced and any breach of that will always carry a consequence.”

He said that earlier lecture was to properly sensitise the members of staff to official secrets laws and regulations and to avoid deliberate breach of classified information.

Umar said that the exercise would be continuous and expressed delight that so far the State House had not recorded any breach of information.

not had any breach; we don’t anticipate having any breach.

“But then it is our duty to let them understand that if there is any, there will be consequences after investigations and that also includes after they have retired the civil service,’’ he said.

Earlier in his remark, Tukur Yahaya, Director, Special Duties, Office of the Secretary to the of the Federation, said that the essence of the was to the safety and security of information, documents and facilities.

He said that secrecy was binding on every official.

The oath taking featured a lecture on the Official Secret Act which expects patriotism, passion, truthfulness, integrity, loyalty, reliability dedication to duty among others from officials.

State House Counsel Geraldine Longsten also attended the exercise which was held at the State House Auditorium.(NAN)