Retired Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi was never declared wanted for an interview he granted on alleged Islamisation and Boko Haram sponsors in government, according to Defence Headquarters (DHQ).
It said on Sunday that he was only invited to shed more light on information he provided on Channel Television on tackling terrorism.
In a statement in Abuja, the Director, Defence Information (DDI), Major Gen Benjamin Sawyer, insists that the informal invitation was harmless.
It said: “The attention of the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has been drawn to an online news publication 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 the medium for the scandalous and malicious publication insinuating that its 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 constitutes 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 Geopolitical 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.”