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Aso Rock’s Staff Led to Swear to Secrecy

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

Mr 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 than 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 right 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 those things they are handling and then the consequences of mishandling such kind of responsibilities,’’ he said.

According to Mr Umar, “those taking the oath are staff of the C-in-C Secretariat; that is, Secretariat of the President; staff from the Registry of the Vice President, staff from 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 from 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.

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

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

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

“We have 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 from the civil service,’’ he said.

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

He said “secrecy was binding on every government official”.

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

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

(NAN)

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Travel Agent Scams Cristiano Ronaldo of £250,000, Jailed

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A travel agent, named Maria Silvia scammed Manchester United striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, out of £250,000 (about N140 million) after the football star entrusted her with his credit cards and pin.

The 53-year-old travel agent also scammed Ronaldo’s super-agent Jorge Mendes of £14,000 and Manchester United winger, Nani, of over £1,500.

Due to her wrongdoing, Silvia got a four-year suspended prison sentence on Sunday after being earlier convicted by a Porto criminal court in 2017.

It was also revealed that Ronaldo was targeted for three years between February 2007 and July 2010.

The paper read, “Afterwards the travel agent had to plug the hole in the firm’s accounts. She, therefore, began to bill those trips to Cristiano Ronaldo, who had an account at Geostar and for practical reasons, handed the agent a virtual credit card and pin code. It was a green route to taking money out.”

Quoting a renowned Portuguese daily Jornal de Noticias, Sun Sports reported that the 36-year-old Ronaldo submitted a statement to the police after flying to the court to meet up with his lawyer.

The travel agent, who currently works as a cleaner, was first interrogated in 2011 before her eventual sentence on Sunday, September 19, 2021.

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I am Getting Better, Says Hospitalised Pele

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Brazilian football legend Pele said Sunday he is “punching the air” to celebrate “every better day” after the 80-year-old suffered his latest health scare.

“As you can see, I’m punching the air in celebration of every better day,” Pele wrote on Instagram beside a photograph of him sitting in a hospital chair, watched over by two medical staff.

The three-time World Cup winner was Friday briefly transferred back to an intensive care unit at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, where he underwent surgery earlier this month, after suffering breathing difficulties.

“A good mood is the best medicine and I have plenty of that. It couldn’t be different,” he added Sunday.

“I have received so much affection that my heart is full of gratitude. Thanks to all the amazing staff at Albert Einstein Hospital!”

His condition had been described as stable.

Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento also posted a photo of herself next to her father in the hospital on Friday, seeking to cheer up his fans.

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We Won’t Accept Second Position in 2023 – NEF

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The Northern Elders Forum has said the north was in the process of rebuilding itself and was not prepared to play second fiddle in a nation where it clearly enjoys numerical strength.

Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said this while delivering a keynote address at the maiden Maitama Sule Lecture Series organized by the students’ wing of the Coalition of Northern Groups, held at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, on Saturday.

He said, “We will lead Nigeria the way we have led Nigeria before whether we are President or Vice President, we will lead Nigeria. We have the majority of the votes and democracy says vote whom you want.

“Why should we accept a second class position when we know we can buy a form and contest for first class and we will win?

“Why does anybody need to threaten us and intimidate us? We will get that power but be humble because power comes from God. We inherited leadership and being honest is not being stupid.

“The North has pride; we are humble enough to know that we are going to run Nigeria with other people but we are not going to pay a second fiddle to anybody. We may not have the most robust economy, there are people who are trying to strangulate us even more than we are being strangled.

“We are ready for this. We will consider every economic adversity, challenge. We will fix the Northern economy and we are the only one who can fix this Northern economy. For that reason, we are not for sale. We are in the process of rebuilding the North and we will rebuild the North from 2023.

“Whether the North holds power in 2023 or not anybody who wants to break up in this country will say so, they are just looking for excuses. This is democracy. If they don’t like what Nigeria is, they will say they want to break up from this country, we don’t pay attention to those people, we are focused on the fact that we are running a democratic system.

The NEF’s spokesman added, “If the majority of Nigeria voters vote for a candidate from the North and he becomes the President and somebody doesn’t want to live under the Nigeria President, the person can leave.”

The Punch

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