22 February 2019

Nigerian Military Returns Computers Carted Away During Daily Trust Invasion

Nigerian military authorities on Friday afternoon returned the 17 desktop computers and laptops which they carted away from Daily Trust newsroom when they invaded the Abuja head office of Media Trust Limited, publishers of the newspaper titles.

A military pickup truck with 3 soldiers in tow returned the items with a letter listing the returned items.

The letter signed by Colonel AD Yusuf of the Directorate of Military Intelligence stated that "the device and equipment are hereby returned to you for your retention."

The returned items were carted away on the 6th of January 2019 during a raid on the Media Trust Limited head office.

Two reporters were also arrested during a similar raid on the Maiduguri office of the company but were released after two days.

Two other senior reporters were equally invited and interrogated by military officials.

All the military's action appear to be in relations to a story on the military's push to retake Baga and other towns in Borno State that was published by Daily Trust on the day of the raid.

That story is thought to have angered the military who claimed it revealed classified military information that compromised national security, a charge that Daily Trust denies as the story relied on eye witness accounts with no reference to any military plan, document or official.

Since the day of the raid which was called off on the order of President Muhammadu Buhari, there have been assurances from senior government officials that the seized items will be returned.

The CEO/Editor-in-Chief of Media Trust Limited, Mannir Dan-Ali, today said that the release may be a result of an earlier protest letter sent to the Minister of Defence decrying the non release of the computers which the company has since replaced in order to continue its work.

The board of the company has since decided that whenever the items are returned they will be donated to a school in need to promote computer literacy there.


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