Why We Are Going After Premium Times Newspaper- Nigerian ArmyThe Nigerian Army has on Monday, January 23, said it is preparing to charge online newspaper Premium Times for “fraudulently obtaining and disclosing military information that led to deaths and loss of equipment.”
In a statement released by the spokesperson of the army, Brigadier Sanni Usman, the army said the libel charge for which the newspaper and the army hierarchy have been in the news for was between the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai and Premium Times.
Last week, acting on a complaint filed by Buratai, the police raided the office of the newspaper and arrested its publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi and a reporter with the paper Evelyn Okakwu. They were later released without charges.
The army accused Premium Times of trying to “whip up sentiments” by creating the impression that the army libel case was between it and the army.
“Therefore, 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, Lieutenant General 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 army stated.
“Consequently, concerted efforts were made to make Premium Times retract the story and apologize, to no avail. As a law-abiding citizen, he took appropriate legal steps of seeking redress through the courts. Therefore, this case is between the person of Lieutenant General TY Buratai and the Premium Times and not the Nigerian Army.”
It, however, stated that the army was preparing a case against the newspaper for fraudulently obtaining military information.
“The issue at hand is libel and not about disclosure of military information by the medium. 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. You are please requested to disseminate this information to the public through your medium. Thank you for your kind cooperation.”