By Abdullateef Jos
The Nigerian Army on Sunday denied invading Daily Trust offices but rather to invite Media Trust Staff over a story
It said the Maiduguri and Abuja offices of the Media Trust was visited by the military and other security agencies to invite the staff of the company over its lead story on Sunday Trust publication, which divulged classified military information, thus undermining national security.
According to a statement signed by Director Army Public Relations Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman said the newspaper made disclosed details of planned military operations against the Boko Haram terrorists.
“ The disclosure of classified security information amounts to a breach of national security and run contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Official Secrets Act. It afforded the Boko Haram terrorists prior notice of our plans and giving them early warning to prepare against the Nigerian military, thus sabotaging the planned operations and putting the lives of troops in imminent and clear danger. “
The statement said “ we would like to state that the invitation of those responsible for divulging military plans was done with the best of intention in order to make them realise the import of such acts to our national security. “
It therefore adviced all, particularly journalists, not to worry but engage in their responsive reportage and to be professional as the Nigerian Army has no intention of muzzling the press or jeopardising press freedom.
“We wish to appeal to all, especially the media, to join hands with the Nigerian military and security forces to end terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria. We would like to further assure that the invitation is for further investigation and if need be, all those culpable of jeopardising operations security will be prosecuted by the relevant law enforcement agency. “
Solacebase had reported the invasion of Media Trust office in Maiduguri by military personnel with the arrest of the Regional Editor and a Reporter on Sunday afternoon. Also the Abuja Headquarters of the organization was invaded in the evening with operational computers carted away by the military. Later a siege was laid on the Lagos office of Media Trust.