By Ayodele Oluwafemi
In an irony, a memo by the Head of Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan expressing the Federal Government’s concerns against the leak of official documents has been leaked.
The circular numbered HCSF/109/S.1/120, dated 22nd May 2020, titled: “Unauthorized circulation of official documents/information on social media,” leaked out over the weekend.
The memo which was sighted by the Nigerian Tribune warned against leaking government documents to the social media, noting that “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.”
The HoS’s memo follows the leakage of her memo a week ago in which she queried the permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Mohammed Umar Bello over allegations of a N48 billion budget debt he left behind in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
In recent times, leaking of official documents has gradually become a trend with many government letters/memos appearing on the social media.
The circular was addressed to, Chief of Staff to the President, Deputy Chief of Staff to President, Office of the Vice President, Ministers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Permanent Secretaries, and Service Chiefs/Inspector-General of Police.Others government functionaries who received the circular include Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria,
The circular stated: “Unauthorized circulation of official documents/information on social media,” the circular pointed out that even documents which had been minuted upon were illegally released, describing the action as unfortunate.
“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 contents of this circular and the consequences of breaking the rules.”
Others copied in the leaked memo were Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission, Chairman, Police Service Commission, Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau, Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal, Chairman, Federal Character Commission, Chairman, Revenue Mobilization, Allocation & Fiscal Commission, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, and Chairman. National Population Commission.
The other recipients of the circular were Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Clerk of the National Assembly, Secretary, National Judicial Council, Auditor-General for the Federation, Surveyor-General of the Federation, Chief Registrar, Supreme Court of Nigeria, and Directors-General and Chief Executives of Parastatals/Agencies.