By Joseph Erunke,
ABUJA-THE Nigerian Army, Monday,explained that contrary to the claim by an online media platform, Premium Times that its ongoing legal battle with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai was at its instance, it was not a party to it.
The Army said the case which is that of libel, was instituted by Buratai as a person against the online newspaper over libel and not alleged disclosure of military information by the medium.
The libel case, according to the Army was filed by its boss against the medium for “unjustifiably accused” him 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.”
But the Nigerian Army, which stated its position in a press statement, through its spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman, disclosed that it was preparing a legal case against the medium for allegedly disclosing military information to the public, thereby jeopardizing military operations.
Insisting that the libel case was not at its instance, it said: “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 jeopardizing military operations, fraudulent obtaining and disclosure of military information that led to deaths and loss of equipment, is still in the offing.
The full 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 apologize, to no avail. As a law-abiding citizen, he took appropriate legal steps of seeking redress through the courts.”