The Federal Government has ordered the Nigerian Army to vacate the premises of Daily trust in both Abuja and Lagos
This was made known by Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to President Buhari on media and publicity and made available to Naija Politico on sunday night
According to Garba Shehu’s tweet, ”The Federal Government has directed the military to vacate the premises of @daily_trust and the order has been complied with.
“Issues between the military and the newspaper as they affect the coverage of the war in the Northeast will be resolved through dialogue”, he added.
Media Trust, publishers of the newspaper confirmed that military siege of the newspaper premises was lifted at 9.30pm.
Daily Trust had earlier reported of its Maiduguri reguonal office of being shut down and its editor, Uthkan Abubakar and reporter Ibrahim Sawab arrested on Sunday.
Later, the newspaper also made it known that its head office in Abuja was also invaded and computers carted away.
In what appeared to be a coordinated operation, the Lagos Bureau Office was reportedly taken over by a combined team of military and police officers a little while later
The Editor in Chief of Media Trust, Manir Dan-Ali did not confirm if the seized computers were returned
What appeared to have triggered the military wrath against the newspaper was a report in the sunday edition of Daily Trust in which miliyary preparations against Boko Haram in the North-east was revealed
Military sources told Naija Politico that the report revealed too much and as such could jeopardize the planned operation.
But in his statement the Editor in Chief, Manir Dan-Ali claimed to have not been told of the reason for the military operation against Daily Trust newspaper but suspect it may have to do with the lead story of the Daily Trust on Sunday that dwelt on the military’s effort to retake some towns recently reported to have been lost to insurgents.
“Another clue is that during the invasion of our premises both in Maiduguri and in Abuja, the military men were asking for the reporters who wrote the story.
“Media Trust Limited condemns this unlawful act and calls on the military authorities to release the two reporters arrested in Maiduguri and return the dozens of computers that were taken from our newsroom.
“We also like to thank our colleagues in the media and all others who have been calling and supporting us in our hour of need.
“We also appreciate the efforts of some government officials who insist that there is a better way of handling relations with the media.”