Abuja – The Presidency has said it would be watching members of its Staff and sanction anyone divulging classified information without authorisation.
Permanent Secretary State House, Tijjani Umar, stated this on Tuesday after 37 officials of the State House took the Oath of Secrecy administered on them by Justice Hamzat Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court at the State House Auditorium, Abuja.
According to Umar, leaking classified information without authorisation was a grievous offence, emphasising the Presidency would not tolerate a breach of the Oath of Secrecy by any staff member or condone truancy.
“This exercise is the beginning of doing what is right in various offices. The rules must be enforced and any breach carries a consequence. From now on, you are under the radar, we are going to watch and follow you,” he said.
He added: “What we have done today is to administer the Oath of Secrecy on staff of the State House who handle classified documents.
“When we say classified documents, they are secret and other documents that ought not to be handled without due diligence. So, I think it’s so important because we are alarmed by the fact that nowadays, due to deployment of staff and through retirement, we discovered that a number of our officers need to be placed under the radar.
“They will be aware that the jobs that they are holding, and the kind of documents or information they are holding from day to day, Monday to Friday and beyond, those documents are so important and must be safeguarded.
“And the breach of such documents would take away from the delivery of service and that was the reason why we decided that we should do the needful by administering the Oath of Secrecy, and highlighting the import of letting them know what information they are managing, and then the consequences of the breach of such information.”
Asked if the exercise would be a continuous one, he said: “like I said, from time to time, people who handle this schedule retired, some of them get deployed or posted out. So when new people come in, you need to also renew this exercise so that all of us are always on the same page.”