Nigerian army accuses 2 journalists of defaming chief
24 Jan 2017 - 9:41
LAGOS, Nigeria: Nigerian military has accused two journalists who were arrested during a raid by plain-clothed security operatives on Thursday for defaming their army chief, according to an official statement released on Monday.
Publisher Dapo Olorunyomi and Reporter Evelyn Okakwu were picked up from the office of Premium Times, a prominent online news medium in the country.
In a statement, Army spokesman Sani Usman said Olorunyomi and Okakwu had been held for alleged libelous publications against the country’s army chief.
“We wish to clarify that the issue at hand is purely allegation of libel in which Premium Times falsely and unjustifiably accused the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai, of false declaration of assets, owning mansions and estates in Dubai and further stated that he was being investigated by Code of Conduct Bureau for false declaration of assets in their publication of 12th December 2015.
“The case between the Nigerian army and the Premium Times of jeopardizing military operations, fraudulent obtaining and disclosure of military information that led to deaths and loss of equipment, is still in the offing.”
The raid and arrests had drawn widespread criticisms against the army and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. The publisher and reporter were released Thursday night; however, a police report against them filed by the military remains pending.