The police command of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has urged the management of the Premium Times and the Nigerian Army to resolve and settle their dispute peacefully.
The FCT Police Commissioner, Mohammed Mustafa, admonished the military and the media on the need to sustain mutual relationship towards protecting national security and interest.
Mr. Mustafa’s suggestion came when the Publisher of Premium Times, Dapo Olorunyomi and Judiciary correspondent, Evelyn Okakwu who were arrested on Thursday returned to the Police Command Headquarters on Friday morning.
The Commissioner appealed to the two parties to settle their difference amicably and out of court.
The two journalists have been released on bail by the police.
Plain-clothed security officers and armed with search and arrest affidavit had arrested the two journalists at the paper’s head office in Abuja on Thursday before granting them administrative bail late in the evening.
The security men said they were acting on a criminal defamation complaint filed by Usuagwu Ugochukwu, a lawyer who claimed he was representing Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.
Mr. Ugochukwu claimed in his complaints that by its alleged defamation of Mr. Buratai, the paper’s reporting was “unpatriotic” and amounted to supporting and furthering Boko Haram’s terror campaign in the Nigerian north-eastern zone.