The Department of State Security (DSS), is investigating two journalists working with Doha-based international television, Al Jazeera, for allegedly spying on military operational areas.
The two Nigerian-born journalists, detained by the military, were released to the Department of State Security (DSS) on Saturday.
Ahmed Idris and Ali Mustapha were picked up by the soldiers two weeks ago after they were found roaming round military operation areas in Borno State, without authorisation or military escort.
The pair were subsequently restricted to their hotel rooms in Maiduguri from where they were released to DSS in the early hours on Saturday.
The defence authorities had, in a statement, on Wednesday, last week, clarified that the two journalists were restrained for roaming in the mission area without military authorisation and necessary security protection.
The security chiefs, it was gathered, took the precautionary measure of handing over the two journalists to the DSS to underscore the risk involved in straying into such sensitive operational areas without permission.
The military and the intelligence community have repeatedly warned, in the past, that they would not tolerate any suspected incidence of spying. Unfortunately, in the intelligence circles, roaming within a restricted or operational areas is considered as spying.
“They are being transferred to the DSS, who will handle the subsequent interrogation, an intelligence expert said.
“They would be released, eventually, but we are trying to pass a message that people should not violate our security procedure in the name of journalism.
“Any form of suspected spying or trespassing, in a restricted area, would not be tolerated.
“There is no cause for alarm as the journalists in question are Nigerians, and are treated according to the law. So, we are just following the normal security procedure required in this circumstance.”