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Commodore Olawunmi is not declared wanted – DIA, DHQ

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Kunle Olawunmi

A senior intelligence officer with the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) has said retired Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi was never declared wanted for an interview he granted on alleged Islamisation and Boko Haram sponsors in government.

The Defence headquarters spokesperson also said Olawunmi was only invited to shed more light on information he provided on Channel Television on tackling terrorism.

The DIA officer, who pleaded anonymity, said that since the television interview, some senior retired and serving military officers have raised concern over Olawunmi’s comment.

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He said: “The DIA had no intention whatsoever to invite him, until other retired senior and serving officers, especially of the intelligence corps, advised that he could assist the security service with vital information for counter-terrorism.

“The invitation was not even formal. It was a phone call by an officer that he knows. We have no reason whatsoever to declare him wanted, when he knows how the system operates.”

Also speaking on the issue, the Director, Defence Information (DDI), Major General Benjamin Sawyerr, confirmed that the informal invitation was harmless.

Sawyerr said: “As a result of the information coming from intelligence circle, an officer in DIA invited retired Commodore Olawunmi to come over, so that he can help with information that can assist in the fight against insurgency and terrorism. The DIA officer asked him to come on Tuesday, so that he can even meet with the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Major General Samuel Adebayo. That was all.

“There was no letter or any formal invitation. He just switched off his phone and started calling some media houses that he had been declared wanted.

“You are aware that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor has been going on tours of geopolitical zones to meet with retired military officers to come up with information and ideas on how to tackle the myriad of security challenges in the country

“While we cannot blame Commodore Olawunmi for not attending the Southwest zone of the interactive sessions with the retired officers, he went on air in the public domain through a television channel with what he himself portrayed as sensitive classified information.

“If the military wanted to arrest somebody, it is the military police that do that. They won’t even send any signal before one could be picked up…. He could have been arrested the day or days after he made the broadcast, since the system has what it takes to arrest anyone on its radar. He was not declared wanted and there isn’t any reason for his arrest as it is now.”

Many Nigerians have expressed worries and concerns over comments and outbursts of Commodore Olakunle Olawunmi (rtd) on Channels TV. Olawunmi, who described himself as Professor of Global Security Studies in the interview, said he was among the people that helped bring Buhari to power.

“I was among the people that brought Buhari to government because I believed in him… I worked with him after we brought him to power in 2015. We have a lot of hope in him and we were ready to do anything for him… What he has turned out to be over the years is shocking,” he said.

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In the interview, Olawunmi said some governors, ministers and senators are sponsors of Boko Haram, and added that Bureau De Change operators are also sponsors of Boko Haram, which is also known to the government.

He insisted that the government is encouraging Islamisation, when he said every Friday, NDA and all government institutions opened their premises for Jumat prayers. He said Muslims come on Friday for worship in military formations and later they become members of the mess who would later spy on the institution and plan their attacks.

He added that most sponsors of terrorism are known within the intelligence community and that the DHQ, DMI, DSS and Police intelligence know the sponsors very well. He said Buhari’s administration wants the government to be Islamised, as the end game is to turn Nigeria into a Taliban type of country.

He said: “We are currently in the worst security situation in Nigeria. CIA actually didn’t trust Buhari before 2015. It took the intelligence community and Tinubu to convince Obama and CIA to accept him. They said he was a bigot and will plunge the country into war.”

He also claimed that the government directed that all media houses should be calling criminal gunmen bandits and unknown gunmen, so that the international community would be misled that they are not terrorists. He added that the government doesn’t want journalists to report the true picture of what is happening in the country.

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