FACT CHECK: Can A Tweet Be Traced To A Mobile phone Number As Nigeria Police Force Claim


The Nigeria Police Force spokesperson, Prince Olumuyiwa Adejobi while addressing how and why  Chike Ibezim was arrested for his tweet, claims that the analytical technique employed by the Nigeria Police Force, showed that a controversial tweet emanated from a phone number registered in Chike Ibezim’s name.

Mr. Chike Ibezim had alleged through his Twitter handle that former governor of Lagos State Babatunde Raji Fashola, was involved in the crafting of judgement for the judges presiding over the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT).

Hence, the Nigeria Police Force spokesperson claims that Chike Ibezim who is currently in the police custody, was arrested through “tactical analysis” of the said defamatory tweet which confirms that the tweet actually came from Chike Ibezim’s registered phone number.

To verify the claim by the police spokesperson knowing that X formerly Twitter has a strict privacy policy as shown in its Terms and Conditions and Twitter’s emphasis on protecting the data of its users, X (Twitter) Support was contacted through:

Their response indicated the following:

1. It is NOT possible to trace a post to a phone number

2. Law enforcement (Including Nigeria Police
@PoliceNg) DO NOT have access to user private data in any country including Nigeria

3. Private data (including phone number, email, year of birth, Direct Message etc) of X users can only be released following a subpoena by a court of competent jurisdiction

4. A phone number CAN NOT make a post, this service is NOT available on X

5. A phone number only provides cellular data (If applicable) for the internet from whence X is then connected, in other cases a WiFi suffices.

Further Forensic Analysis From Software Engineer Also Revealed The Following:


It is generally not possible to directly trace a tweet to a mobile number just by looking at the tweet itself or using publicly available tools. Twitter does not publicly display mobile numbers associated with accounts, and such information is kept confidential within Twitter’s secure database.

Proof & Details:
1. User Privacy: Twitter’s privacy policy strictly protects personal information like mobile numbers. The information is securely stored and not displayed to other users.

2. API Limitations: Twitter’s Application Programming Interface (API) does not provide mobile numbers associated with tweets or accounts.

3. Legal Constraints: Accessing someone’s mobile number without consent can be against privacy laws and regulations in many jurisdictions.

4. Technical Barriers: Even if one were to try and trace an IP address related to a tweet—which is also difficult and potentially unlawful—it would not necessarily correlate to a mobile number.

Therefore, a tweet cannot be traced back to a mobile number using publicly available methods or standard techniques.

CONCLUSION: Except the Nigeria Police obtained & served a subpoena to X (Twitter) and which they didn’t disclose as at the time their report was made, they wouldn’t have been able to access the data they claim to have. In conclusion, the claim by the Nigeria Police that the post was made from a phone number that was registered to the name ‘Chike Ibezim’ is NOT TRUE.

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