A retired navy commodore, Kunle Olawunmi, on Tuesday, honoured an invitation by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) for questioning over his recent television interview considered critical of President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of the worsening security situation in the country.
His lawyer, Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who accompanied him to the DIA headquarters in Abuja, told PREMIUM TIMES that, Mr Olawunmi, who is a military intelligence officer, returned home after what he described as a friendly chat with his “colleagues”.
“I confirm that it was a friendly chat between Commodore Kunle Olawunmi and his colleagues. The chat ended a few minutes ago,” Mr Falana said in a message to our reporter on Tuesday afternoon.
“I was allowed to represent the retired military officer during the friendly chat in strict compliance with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.”
Sahara Reporters had reported that Mr Olawunmi was declared ‘wanted’ for his comments criticising Mr Buhari’s poor handling of the country’s security situation.
The newspaper also reported that the retired officer was invited to appear at the DIA headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.
In reaction to the reports, the Defence headquarters on Sunday stated that Mr Olawunmi was merely invited to shed more light on his claims during an interview he granted Channels Television.
The Defence Information (DDI), Benjamin Sawyerr, noted that the retired navy commodore, was not declared wanted.
“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,” the DHQ statement had read partly.
What Olawunmi said on TV
The professor of global security studies had appeared on Channels Television programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’ speaking on the recent attack at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in which two officers were killed and another officer abducted by suspected bandits.
In the interview considered to be highly critical of President Buhari, Mr Olawunmi alleged that the State Security Services had information on persons sponsoring Boko Haram but refused to act due to lack of presidential support.
Sahara Reporters which monitored Mr Olawunmi’s interview had quoted him as saying, “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.
“Why should a government decide to cause this kind of embarrassment and insecurity to the sense of what happened yesterday (at the NDA)?”
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