Soldiers from the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army on Thursday stormed the Maiduguri offices of the Media Trust, the publishers of Daily Trust newspaper in search of journalists who wrote a story deemed to have been critical to the military.
Earlier in the week, some Nigerian newspapers, including Daily Trust, had reported story an alleged mutiny by troops which apparently roughed feathers at the in the military.
Eye witnesses said that eight soldiers, led by the spokesman of the 7 Division, Sani Usman, a colonel, invaded the Daily Trust regional office along Baga road in Mauiduguri at about 12 noon demanding for the writer of the story.
On failing to find the reporter, the soldiers reportedly arrested the incoming regional operations manager of the newspaper, Jamilu Aliyu, and his predecessor, Aminu Ado, and whisked them off to the 7 Division where they were quizzed. Both of them were, however, released about an hour later being questioned.
Recounting their experience later, both men said they were warned by the commander of the division to stop unnecessary criticisms of the military in the newspaper’s reports.
Also, Usman delivered a letter at the Daily Trust office in Maiduguri demanding a retraction of the story, threatening that “failure to do so would henceforth attract sanctions”.
The military complained in the letter that “over time your paper has been unnecessarily critical of the military without cross-checking your facts with the formation.”