Microblogging site, Twitter, has locked the account of independent journalist, David Hundeyin, for bringing to public knowledge the hitherto unknown Guinean passport of President-elect Bola Tinubu.
On Saturday night, Hundeyin sent tongues wagging and opposition parties and their supporters had a field day after he uploaded images of a Guinean diplomatic passport bearing “Bola Ahmed Tinubu” and his photograph on Twitter.
Exasperated by Hundeyin’s action, Tinubu’s supporters in their thousands inundated Twitter with privacy complaints which triggered Twitter’s automated system to flag the post for deletion.
The journalist was also locked out of his account for violating Twitter’s policy around personal identifying information.
However, the implications of Tinubu’s supporters reporting of the tweet as revealing his personal information is that they have, albeit unwittingly, confirmed that the passport indeed belongs to Tinubu.
The journalist said he had contacted Twitter to appeal the suspension, presenting a strong argument that Tinubu’s Guinean citizenship was a matter of national and public interest. He was, however, unsure when the suspension would be lifted.
Hundeyin argued he posted a document of a public figure, the president-elect of Africa’s largest economy because it carried overarching public interest.
“After posting evidence of @officialABAT’s undisclosed dual citizenship and perjurous INEC EC9 declaration, West Africa Weekly founder @DavidHundeyin’s Twitter account has been maliciously reported for “posting private information” and is temporarily locked, tweeted @WestAfricaWeek, a digital publication owned by Mr Hundeyin.
“You may not publish or post other people’s private information without their express authorisation and permission,” Twitter wrote to Mr Hundeyin in a mail in the early hours of Monday.
The passport stirred fresh concerns and further raised questioned Tinubu’s eligibility to become president considering Section 137 of the Constitution prohibits anyone who “has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria” from being president.
Another concern was the perjury accusation hanging over Tinubu, particularly whether there would be consequences for making false declaration under oath on the EC-9 form where the president-elect had lied about his second acquired Guinean citizenship.