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No, police have not arrested Nigeria’s DJ Switch

IN SHORT: Several Facebook posts claim the Nigerian musician DJ Switch has been arrested. But this is not true.

Facebook posts from 19 April 2024 claim that DJ Switch has been arrested in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. 

The claim is made here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Musician Obianuju Catherine Udeh is better known by her stage name DJ Switch. Her win in 2009 in the Star Quest talent-hunt competition made her famous. In 2013, she won 24 million naira and a recording contract with Sony Music in the Glo X Factor competition.

DJ Switch has become a strong advocate for an end to police brutality in Nigeria. She was one of the most prominent figures in the End Sars demonstrations in 2020, which called for an end to killings and police brutality in the country. 

Following the End Sars protests, it was reported that DJ Switch had left Nigeria for her safety and had been granted asylum in Canada. Some of her fellow activists said she had left the country because of death threats, but they wouldn't confirm where she was. 

But was DJ Switch arrested in April 2024? We checked.


DJ Switch threatens to sue if false posts not taken down

On 18 April, DJ Switch posted on her official X account (formerly Twitter), calling the false rumours of her arrest “dangerous” and threatening to sue the “blogs” that had published the claim.

Her post read, in part: “... my lawyers have screenshotted every blog they can find this false news and this is defamation of my character. These blogs have till end of day to take down this false news and kindly replace it with a post correcting their mistake … I was advised to sue immediately which would cost them all a lot. So please do the needful and let us learn.”

Benjamin Hundeyin, a superintendent of police and public relations officer for the Lagos State Police Command, also refuted the claim on X. He appeared to take responsibility for the spreading of the rumour, saying there was a “mixup our end”, and apologised to media organisations for having earlier confirmed the misinformation.

DJ Switch replied to Hundeyin’s post: “Thank you! Apologies accepted.”

Several local newspapers, including Daily Post, Vanguard News and the Guardian Nigerian, have also debunked the claim.

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