Human RightsNews

Twitter User Arrested, Spends 2 Months In Detention For Mimicking Goodluck Jonathan

Babatunde Olushola, a prominent content creator on Twitter who goes by the username Jayythedope, was arrested by law enforcement agents identified to be from the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID) in May and has since not been released. 

Olushola is a final-year student of chemical engineering at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).

HumAngle gathered that he was arrested on May 23 in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, before he was taken to Abuja, where he is currently detained. There are no indications he has been arraigned before a judge or that he has access to a lawyer.

The arrest is believed to be in connection to Olushola’s tweet on May 5 where he mimicked former Nigerian president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, to share a joke, a common practice on the microblogging platform.

He had changed his Twitter ID to Goodluck E. Jonathan and replaced his profile picture with a photo of the former president.

He then replied, “My wife was always the joke” to a tweet that asked, “Who else noticed Nigeria has been boring ever since Buhari became the president?”

After a while, he returned to his default ID and profile picture. A screenshot of Olushola’s profile at the time shows that he had cautioned other users of the platform that he was merely impersonating the public figure for entertainment purposes.

“BrezzIsLife, Not GEJ,” he wrote.

He was nevertheless arrested and accused of impersonation and fraud according to sources close to the family.

According to Twitter’s impersonation policy, “Users are allowed to create parody, newsfeed, commentary, or fan accounts.”

It adds that a user is not considered to have impersonated another person if “the profile clearly states it is not affiliated with or connected to any similarly-named individuals or brands”.

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'Kunle Adebajo

Head of Investigations at HumAngle. ‘Kunle covers conflict alongside its many intricacies and fallouts. He also writes about disinformation, the environment, and human rights. He's won a couple of journalism awards, including the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism, the 2022 African Fact-checking Award, and the 2023 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling.

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