The federal government Tuesday issued stern warning to civil servants to desist from leaking official documents, saying anyone caught in the act would be shown the way out of the civil service.
The government’s position was contained in a circular signed by the Head of Service of the Federation Mrs Folasade Yemi-Esan.
The warning came about a month after the April 28, 2020 speech of President Muhammadu Buhari on COVID-19 was leaked minutes before the live broadcast.
The leaked speech was fraught with errors and a far cry from the copy the president read during the live broadcast.
Similarly, a query letter recently issued from the OHOSF dated May 11th May, 2020 and addressed to Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Mohammed Umar Bello, also got leaked to the public.
The letter titled ‘Allegations of Acts of Serious Misconducts in Your Former Post of Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’ with Ref. Number HCSF/PSO/AOD/P.030/58.
The OHSF said: “ The attention of Mr. President has been drawn to the acts of serious misconduct against you in your former post as the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on which he ahs goven further directive.”
Among others, the query said: “Under your leadership as the Accounting Officer, the Ministry utilised the entire 2019 first quarter release of N7,737,208,135,18 to pay the 2018 contractors that were fully funded in 2018 which constitutes virement without authority.”
In the same vein, Bello’s response dated 15 May 2020, was also leaked.
The permanent secretary who is now at the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, responded that all transactions under his watch at FMARD “were approved through Administrative process and principles as traditioned in the conduct of Government business.”
Warning against acts such as the above and related ones, Mrs Yemi-Esan said such acts would not be tolerated in the federal civil service, and directed all permanent secretaries to pass same to their staff members
She said: “The attention of the office of the head of service of the federation has been drawn to the recent unfortunate unauthorised disclosure of official documents on the social media.
“In some cases, official documents that have been minuted on are also leaked. This irresponsible and reckless action is an act of serious misconduct with a penalty of dismissal from service as provided for in Public Service Rules Nos. 030401 and 030402.
“The ugly development is embarrassing to the government and therefore not acceptable. Any public officer caught engaging in this act of serious misconduct will be severely dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the public service rules.
“Permanent secretaries are to draw the attention of all their staff to the content of this circular and the consequences of breaking the rules.”