Channels interview: Why we invited Cdre Olawunmi – DHQ

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The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has debunked reports by an online medium Sahara Reporters alleging that the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) has arrested Cdre Kunle Olawunmi (retd) over an interview he granted Channels Television programme Sunrise Daily. 

Cdre Olawunmi had during the interview alleged that some high ranking members of the president administration are sponsors of Boko Haram terrorists.

A statement by Director Defence Information (DDI) Maj.-Gen. Benjamin Sawyerr on Sunday, described the report “as scandalous and malicious.”

He said Cdre Olawunmi who is on the military reserve list was only invited via SMS and voice by DIA to further furnish the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) with relevant information that will help in the fight against insecurity.

The statement reads: “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  Cdre Kunle Olawunmi (retd) for  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 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 general public should please note that the AFN is a professional entity that will continue to be responsive to all credible information that will promote peace and unity of our dear country.

 “As you will recall, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor has just completed his tour of the 6 Geo-Political Zones where he interacted with retired military officers with a view to rallying them to lend their support to the Armed Forces of Nigeria. 

“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.