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Olawunmi’s invitation: It is to boost fight against terrorism, says Defense Headquarters

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has explained that invitation sent to Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi (rtd) by  its intelligence agency (DIA) was to assist in sharing information he has, with the agency to aid the fight against insecurity in the country.

Pelican Brief

Penpushing reports that the Director of Defence Information, Major General Benjamin Sawyerr, in a statement said the agency did not declare the retired commodore wanted contrary to media reports in some quarters

The statement, was, however, silent if the retired commodore has right to refuse the invitation or not, and what may likely be step to be taken on refusal of the invitation, while it is also in some media report that Olawunmi was asked to come with his international passport.

Penpushing further reports that, Sawyer described the report by the news outlet as “scandalous and malicious,” adding that the proposed meeting was just an agency-stakeholder relationship.

“The attention of the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has been drawn to an online news publication by Sahara Reporters alleging that the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) ordered the arrest of retired Cdre Kunle Olawunmi for recently appearing on Channels Television programme (Sunrise Daily).

“The Armed Forces may not want to join issues with Sahara Reporters for the scandalous and malicious publication insinuating that it’s Agency has ordered the arrest of Cdre Olawunmi (rtd) for sharing his views on matters of defence and national security.

“It is gratifying to state that the retired military officer who is on the military reserve list was only invited via SMS and voice by DIA to further furnish the AFN with relevant and pressing security information which he may be opportuned to have knowledge of as a Professor of Global Security Studies’,the statement emphasised.

“The said proposed meeting between DIA and the retired senior Navy officer was intended to get credible tips on boosting the fight against terrorism/insurgency, banditry and sundry crimes. He was not asked to come along with his international passport. This in no way constitute any form of arrest speculated by Sahara Reporters.

“It is very sad that an online media like Sahara Reporters would capitalize on a proposed meeting between an agency and it’s stakeholder to paint the story in a manner intended to portray the military as draconic government agency acting in a crude manner,” the statement partly read.

‘The DHQ also used the opportunity to re-invite the retired officer to come forward with his valuable information which it said would aid in the fight against insecurity.In this regard, I wish to use this medium to encourage the retired senior officer to come forward to give valuable information to the military authorities as a patriotic citizen who has served meritoriously in Nigerian Navy in various capacities before retirement.”

Penpushing also reports that, it is recalled that, the retired naval boss had granted television interview where he criticised the handling of Nigeria’s security situation under President Muhammadu Buhari and made some allegations against the Nigerian government.

The retired officer in the interview exposed how President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration refused to probe high profile politicians whom Boko Haram terrorists named as their sponsors, and in same vein, pointed out recent attack at the Nigerian Defence Academy(NDA) where two officers were killed and another officer abducted by suspected bandits.

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