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Fact-Check: Retired Naval Commodore Kunle Olawunmi Wanted By DAI

The military does not issue warrant of arrest. Only a court can order an arrest.

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has denied declaring Kunle Olawunmi, a retired commodore in the Nigerian Navy, wanted over his comments during a recent interview with Channels Television.

Speaking when he featured on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Wednesday, Olawunmi had alleged that some government officials were involved in sponsoring insurgency.

Although he didn’t mention any administration in particular, the retired naval officer, who is currently the head of the department of criminology and security studies at Chrisland University, alleged that some insurgents arrested had mentioned the names of some government officials as their supporters.

“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 actually conducted interrogation and they (suspects) mentioned names,” he had said.

‘’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.”

On Saturday morning, there were unconfirmed reports that Olawunmi had been declared wanted by Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA). In our attempt to ensure a balanced reportage, on reaching out to the Defence spokesman  the Director of Defence Information(DDI) Major General Benjamin Sawyerr, who out rightly denied the reports, stating that “There is nothing like that. There is no time that the DIA ordered the arrest of the naval officer. He went on Channels Television and said a lot of things. So, someone in intelligence called him and asked him to come on Tuesday and share his information,”.

According to the DDI, “The military does not issue warrant of arrest. Only a court can order an arrest. The former officer spent a lot of time at the interview. If they wanted to arrest him, they would have done so. No one invites someone just to arrest them.”

The development comes days after the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) issued a letter of query to Channels Television over a recent interview with Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, concerning the federal government’s decision to review grazing reserves.

According to the NBC, Ortom made “inciting, divisive and unfair comments which were not thoroughly interrogated by the anchors”.

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