Nigeria

Aso Rock staff take oath of secrecy, receive warning

Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court administers the Oath of Secrecy and Declaration of Secrecy on State House Staff.

Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court administers the Oath of Secrecy and Declaration of Secrecy on State House Staff.

Workers at the Nigerian presidential villa, popularly known as State House, received stern warning on Tuesday that disclosing confidential information without authorisation will attract serious penalties.

The workers were warned that disclosing such confidential information attracts serious punishment under public service rules by the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar after the administration of Oath of Secrecy and Declaration of Secrecy on them.

A statement from the State House indicated that 42 staff of the State House took the oath of secrecy a administered by Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court.

The statement was signed by Patience Tilley-Gyado, Assistant Director Information, State House.

The Permanent Secretary explained that the oaths were administered to staff members who handle classified documents.

‘‘We discovered that due to deployment of officers and retirement a number of our staff need to be placed under the radar so that they will be aware that their jobs, the kind of documents or information they are handling from day to day and beyond, are so important and must be safeguarded.

‘‘That’s the reason we decided to do the needful by administering the Oath of Secrecy, highlighting the importance of letting them know what information they are managing and the consequences of the breach of such information,’’ he said.

The Permanent Secretary, who disclosed that the exercise will be continuous, expressed delight that so far the State House has not recorded any breach of information.

‘‘We have not had any breach. We don’t anticipate having any breach.

‘‘But then it’s 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 from the Civil Service,’’ he said.

Earlier before the administration of the Oaths, Mr Tukur Yahaya, the Director of Special Services Department, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, took the staff through sensitization, explaining the essence of the Official Secrets Act, 1962.

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