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Commodore Kunle Olawunmi not at risk of arrest, not declared wanted – Military

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Military authorities in Abuja declared on Saturday that nobody is going to arrest a retired intelligence officer, Commodore Kunle Olawunmi over his allegations that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is harbouring Boko Haram terrorists as ministers and Aso Rock Villa aides.

This is just as the military said the senior officer has never been declared wanted as no signal or letter was ever written showing the ex-intelligence officer being ordered to Abuja.

It was gathered, however, that based on Commodore Olawunmi’s disclosure that he has information about the activities of Boko Haram sponsors, who they are, and where they are currently, the authorities may have shown interest in wanting to get the names of these sponsors he talked about.

A senior officer said, “The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor recently went to the South West Zone and interacted with retired senior Officers as part of efforts to join hands in tackling security challenges in the country. These are avenues where such issues would have been discussed. I am not too sure the retired officer was there to make his contribution.

“Why should he be declared wanted and you are asking him to report on Tuesday next week as claimed. It is just propaganda to achieve publicity and paint a particular picture.

“In military tradition, if an officer was to be arrested, there are procedures for that. We have military police for the Army, Naval Police for the Navy, Air Police for Air Force and there should be proper documentation on why he is to be arrested. Can someone show us one?

Speaking on the issue, Director of Defence Information, Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyer said, “It’s fake news released to portray the Military in a bad light. 

“He was only invited by concerned personnel who listened to him on Channels TV that if he knows so much then he can help provide information that would assist in the ongoing efforts to tackle the myriad of insecurity challenges. 

“Warrants of Arrest is normally issued by Courts. If he is to be arrested then he won’t have been invited. 

“It’s sad that Sahara Reporters is trying to twist the story. 

“The retired senior officer is welcomed any day to share his information with the military.

“How can we be arresting retired military officers when we are asking them to support us in our task to deal with issues of insecurity?

Recall that Commodore Olawunmi had while reacting to the attack of the elite military institution, the Nigerian Defence Academy and killing of two officers and abduction of a Major, during a Channels TV programme condemned the brazen development.

He had said, “It is an aberration; you don’t attack the Nigerian Defence Academy and get away with it. In 2017, I carried out an investigation by the Minister of Defence that wanted me to check what was going on with the training and the security there (NDA). 

“I remember I spent about a week in the NDA with the commandant and the staff but something struck me: every Friday, the gate of NDA is thrown open and everybody has access to pray in the mosque.

“On Fridays, you are going to see the same thing happening across all military formations in the country. If you go to Defence Headquarters, I served at the Defence Headquarters as the Deputy Director, Defence Administration, between 2015 and 2017, throughout my two years at Defence Headquarters, I received visitors twice because of the strict security architecture there but every Friday, the gate of the Defence Headquarters is thrown wide open for everybody to come in and observe Juma’at.

“That is the time the terrorists have the time to profile our security environment. It has always been the case. I have served the military intelligence for the past 35 years. Our problem is religion and socio-cultural.”

The retired naval officer said he was a member of the Intelligence Brief at the Defence Headquarters during the leadership of former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin (retd.), adding that he told the CDS that the centre of gravity of the Boko Haram insurgency ravaging the North-East and spreading to other parts of Nigeria was the sponsor.

“I told General Olonisakin then that the centre of this problem cannot be solved the same way we solved the problem of the Niger Delta. The Niger Delta problem was solved during (Ex-President Umaru) Yar’adua basically by me and I told them that we can’t use that same template for Boko Haram.

“I told General Olonisakin to look at the centre of gravity of the problem. I was made a member of the committee in 2016-2017 including former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru that died.

“I told them that the centre of gravity of Boko Haram in Nigeria is the sponsors of the programme. It was beyond us because the job we needed to do was kinetic but we cannot resolve the issues of sponsors of Boko Haram that were in Buhari’s government that we know them. That was why we couldn’t pursue that aspect that could have resolved the issue because we need to arrest people.

“Recently, 400 people were gathered as sponsors of Boko Haram, why is it that the Buhari government has refused to try them? Why can’t this government bring them to trial if not that they are partisan and part of the charade that is going on?

“You remember this Boko Haram issue started in 2012 and I was in the military intelligence at that time. We arrested those people. My organisation conducted interrogation and they (suspects) mentioned names. 

“I can’t come on air and start mentioning names of people that are presently in government that I know that the boys that we arrested mentioned. Some of them are governors now, some of them are in the Senate, some of them are in Aso Rock.

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