LAUTECH student detained for 90 days over parody Twitter account of Jonathan narrates ordeal

Babatunde Olusola, a student arrested for setting up a Twitter parody account of former President Goodluck Jonathan, has narrated his ordeals while in detention.

Parody accounts, which Twitter permits, are often named after prominent individuals but mainly used for comic purposes relative to unfolding issues in the sociopolitical space of their subjects.

In a Twitter thread on Saturday, Olusola, an undergraduate of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) in Ogbomoso, said he spent almost 90 days in police custody.

According to him, his ordeal began on May 23, after he was arrested following a post he made about the former president.
 
“For those saying why didn’t I use my dad’s name & photo, some also asked why I had to use a popular person like him but I guess the definition to parody says it all. There was a question on the TL “who else noticed Nigeria has been boring ever since Buhari became the president?,” Olushola asked.

“So I quoted the tweet saying “my wife was always the joke” Truth be told, impersonating the ex-president or defrauding tweeps on here with his picture on my avi never crossed my mind. I only made a harmless tweet that very evening but unfortunately, I got arrested May 23rd.

“Funny enough, I already forgot that I even made such a tweet by then. The telecommunications service provider gave out my data without my consent which is real bad, my privacy was invaded. They got 5 numbers in which my uncle’s digit was among. They got to uncle’s place with guns.

“He had to call me to come over without telling me the police were around, I went and got arrested. One of the officers was rough-handling my jean, trying to drag me out so I told him not to embarrass me in public since I wasn’t stressing nobody. I was going with them peacefully.

“I kept on asking “why did you come for me?” “Why did I do wrong?” but they said nothing til I got to the SARS station in ogbomoso, they took my phone & power bank from me as exhibits in which both exhibits are still with the Police til now. I had to get a new phone when I got out.”
 
Olusola said after his arrest, he was taken to the Ogbomosho division of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) before he would later be transferred to Ibadan, Oyo state capital.

He said he had his worst nightmare at the Ibadan custody as he “slept on urine till the next morning,” after which he was further transferred to the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID) of the Nigeria Police Force in Abuja.

He alleged that his detention at the federal capital territory (FCT) was characterised by “torture and inhuman treatment” meted out on him by fellow inmates, which made him fall sick in the process.
 
“I’m still itching and scratching badly till now since we all cover our bodies with the same bed cover which over 500 cell mates’ have used without washing if I’m not exaggerating. A lot of insects in it which bites, didn’t sweat for months (no sun), was taken away from my family,” he wrote.

“Fell sick while I was behind bars, couple times. I was treated tho because my people took me to the clinic once and also got drugs for me once, I wasn’t tortured by the police physically. I sat and ate with murderers which made my nightmares horrific, got square meals daily, malnourished.”

He said his horrific experiences in detention had happened despite his insistence that the parody account was created in line with Twitter regulations.

“Who runs a parody account and attaches his personal Instagram link to the profile? Went beyond the rules of parody just not to cause confusion but, there is God!,” he queried.
He, however, thanked those who pushed for his release, noting that such would not have happened without their contributions.

The student also narrated his ordeal adjusting back to life after the experience.

“I’m also try get used to wearing different clothes again since I wore the same cloth for 80days a lot more that I can’t even say, nor type. It’s just sad…” he added.

Abdul Mahmud, a lawyer, also narrated a series of events that led to the release of Olusola.

In a series of tweets, Mahmud revealed that he decided to get involved in securing Olusola’s release after he was tagged severally on the issue by social media users.

He said he had reached out to a source close to Jonathan to plead for the student’s freedom and eventually got the green light after the former president agreed to withdraw an application for continuation of the case in court.

He said a requirement to facilitate the process, however, was that Olusola penned a written apology to the former president as demanded by his chief security officer (CSO).

Mahmud, said Arowolo Adedayo, lawyer to Olusola, however, told him later that the student refused to sign the apology letter.
“I pleaded with him to impress on GEJ to drop his criminal complaint of impersonation, as hacking was not reflected in the charges brought against the young man. It took 2 weeks to get to the stage of forgiveness,” he wrote.

“His lawyer, Arowolo, got in touch with me to plead that I speak to the police officer who insisted that the young man must write a letter apology to GEJ before any steps would be taken.

“His lawyer, Arowolo, got back to me and said that he impressed on the young man to sign the letter of apology and that he refused. I asked him to forget it. I reverted to X to confirm if the additional condition had been withdrawn.”

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