The Nigerian Army has said the arrest of Premium Times publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi was due to libellous allegations against Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and not the army.
In a statement on Monday by army spokesperson Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, the army said the case was about some libellous stories about Buratai owning mansions and estates in Dubai.
The statement read, “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to erroneous impressions and insinuations on a libel case against the Premium Times to whip up sentiments.
“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.
“Consequently, concerted efforts were made to make Premium Times retract the story and apologise, 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; 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 jeopardising military operations, fraudulent obtaining and disclosure of military information that led to deaths and loss of equipment, is still in the offing.”
The police arrested Olorunyomi on Thursday following a complaint by Buratai’s lawyer.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.