Retired Nigerian Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi, who visited the Military Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in Abuja on Tuesday had a ‘friendly chat’ with his colleagues, SaharaReporters has learnt.
SaharaReporters had reported that Olawunmi arrived at the DIA headquarters earlier on Tuesday over his comments during an interview on Channels TV last Wednesday.
The DIA had declared Olawunmi wanted for exposing in the interview how President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration refused to probe high profile politicians whom Boko Haram terrorists named as their sponsors.
The agency had asked Olawunmi to come to its headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday with his passport.
A source had earlier told SaharaReporters that the former Navy commander arrived at the agency’s office in company with his lawyers – Femi Falana (SAN) and Abubakar Marshall – on Tuesday.
“Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi has arrived at the military DIA in Abuja. He was accompanied by his lawyers,” the source told SaharaReporters.
“They initially declared him wanted but downgraded it when the plot was leaked.”
But in a recent development, a top source told SaharaReporters that Olawunmi only visited for a friendly chat.
“I confirm that it was a friendly chat between Commodore Kunle Olawunmi and his colleagues. The chat ended a few minutes ago. The friendly chat was held in strict compliance with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.”
The Defence Intelligence Agency is the primary military intelligence agency of Nigeria.
Following the declaration by the DIA that Olawunmi was wanted, a top source had said, “The agency has declared retired Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi wanted for spilling the beans over Boko Haram sponsors in the Buhari regime. They asked him to come with his international passport on Tuesday to the DIA office in Abuja.”
SaharaReporters had last Wednesday reported what Olawunmi said when he featured on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast programme.
He had condemned the attack by bloodthirsty bandits on the Kaduna campus of Nigeria’s foremost military university, the Nigerian Defence Academy, where two military officers were killed and another kidnapped.
The Professor of Global Security Studies 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.”
Olawunmi had added that he was a member of the Intelligence Brief at the Defence Headquarters during the leadership of the then Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin (retd.).
The intelligence expert said he told the then 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.
“Why should a government decide to cause this kind of embarrassment and insecurity to the sense of what happened yesterday (Tuesday at the NDA)?”
Olawunmi had also said that the Department of State Services (DSS) had tremendous information on terrorists but could not do anything because of the body language of the President.