The Nigerian military has arrested one Umar Muhammed for allegedly sharing fake information on alleged killing of soldiers in Borno State by Boko Haram.
Muhammed, 29, alleged that Boko Haram fighters killed five soldiers and also abducted many others, when workers were repairing electricity facilities along Maiduguri-Damaturu Road last Monday.
He shared the fake report on February 8 during an operational tour of troops’ locations in the theatre by the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru.
A military source told PRNigeria that Muhammed, who was identified as a Civilian JTF Member at Shehuri-North in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, was arrested at his residence by security operatives.
He added that the suspect allegedly shared the false information knowing full well that it could create panic in the minds of citizens.
“This kind of fake news can create false impressions in the minds of many. From the suspect’s post, it is clear that the idea behind it was to sabotage the good efforts of the Military,” he said.
PRNigeria learnt that the suspect claimed, during a preliminary investigation, that his account was hacked by anonymous persons to send the fake report.
The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Ado Isa, in a statement described the report as “fake and misleading”.
Isa, a Colonel, cautioned the general public against sharing unverified reports and fictitious claims capable of undermining the counter-insurgency war.
He said: “Contrary to the rumours making the round, nobody was attacked on Monday, as the road was cleared for the maiden visitation of the COAS, who came to see the troops of Special Army Super Camp, Ngamdu.
“No repair work was been carried out on the TCN facility, as the workers were asked not to go, because our troops who were supposed to provide them with escort, were busy preparing for the COAS visit.
“To this end, the Nigerian Army wishes to unequivocally state that the claims contained in the disjointed report on Nigerian Army troops are nothing but fake, malicious and frivolous.”