The Nigerian Army on Sunday night said it invaded the Daily Trust offices in Abuja and Maiduguri, Borno State, to invite workers of the media company over a story in its Sunday publication “which divulged classified military information, thus undermining national security.”
The army said the invasion was “done with the best of intention” claiming that its invitation of the workers was to make them realise the import of the publication to national security.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Sani Usman, in a release, said the publication of classified security information amounted to a breach of national security and ran contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Official Secrets Act.
Usman was however silent on the carting away of computer sets from the media company, and the arrest of two workers in Maiduguri, whose whereabouts were reportedly unknown as of press time.
The army spokesman said, “We would like to state that soldiers of the Nigerian Army along with elements of Nigeria Police Force and other Security Agencies were indeed at Abuja and Maiduguri offices of the publishing company to invite the staff of the company over its lead story on Sunday Trust publication, which divulged classified military information, thus undermining national security.
“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 would not tolerate situation where a publication would consistently side with terrorists and undermine our National institutions.
“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.”