The Nigerian Army has said its troops with some personnel of the Nigeria Police invaded Daily Trust newspapers offices in Maiduguri and Abuja and invited staff of the company over a story on its edition on Sunday.
Army spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Sani Kukasheka Usman said in a statement that the Sunday publication divulged classified military information, “thus undermining national security.”
He said: “In it, 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.
“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. We therefore advice 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 however, wish to enjoin further that they should eschew jeopardizing national security in their reportage. We would not tolerate situation where a publication would consistently side with terrorists and undermine our National institutions.”
He appealed to 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,” he said.