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Published On: Mon, Jan 7th, 2019

How soldiers sealed our Abuja, Maiduguri offices, by Daily Trust

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Soldiers at the Daily Trust, headquarters, yesterday in Abuja.

  • Siege lifted hours later, says insider

By Ese Awhotu

Armed soldiers have sealed the Daily Trust head office in Abuja, at about 7pm yesterday, hours after taking over the Newspaper’s regional office in Maiduguri, Borno State.
This is according to a statement posted on the official website of Daily Trust: www.dailytrust.com.ng, which was accessed at about 8pm yesterday.
The statement said soldiers had earlier arrested the regional editor, Uthman Abubakar and a reporter, Ibrahim Sawab.
It said, “The soldiers forced the gate open at the head office and drove in with three Jokic vans loaded with armed soldiers.
“Everyone in the building was asked to move to the ground floor while they moved computers.
“It is not clear yet why they took the action, but it may be connected with the lead story of Daily Trust on Sunday on military operation in the North East.”
According to the Daily Trust statement, “soldiers had shut the gate of the Maiduguri regional office earlier in the day, after arresting the two editorial staff on sight at the time of the raid.
“All efforts to get the Military authorities’ response to these invasions have proved abortive”, the statement said, citing the Nigerian Army spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman as not responding to enquiries by Daily Trust reporter at the time.
“He later sent a text message asking for a text message inquiry which our reporter sent immediately, but Brigadier General Usman is yet to respond to the text sent to him,” the statement said.
Peoples Daily independently called the Army spokesman for a comment at about 7: 38 p.m., but he was yet to respond at press time.
There were suggestions yesterday that the action of the soldiers might not be unconnected to an editorial published by Daily Trust on Sunday, January 6 on the alleged seizure of some towns in Borno State by Boko Haram.
The military had reportedly gave a denial, saying the reports “do not reflect the reality on ground.”
However, an insider confirmed to Peoples Daily at 10.20pm that the siege is lifted, allowing the staff access to their offices, though the seized computers were yet to be released.

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