Plagiarism: APC spokesman says party owns ‘hacked’ website

Hours after The Guardian published a fact-check how a website belonging to the ruling All Progressives Congress published a plagiarised manifesto, the website has been put under maintenance.

Although, there has been conflicting information about the ownership of the website since The Guardian reported the brazen plagiarism.

Tolu Ogunlesi, a special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on digital media, impugned the news report and claimed that the party had nothing to do with the website since it issued a disclaimer on it in April 2018. The party’s spokesman Lanre Issa-Onilu said it is the “APC’s official website.”

Issa-Onilu, however, claimed the website was hacked.

A media website developer Elijah Bello, who spoke to The Guardian earlier on Saturday said it was possible that the website was hacked.

“Our attention has just been drawn to the fact that the APC’s official website, http://APC.com.ng has been hacked with unauthorised content posted on it,” Issa-Onilu tweeted.

The party spokesman did not say when APC took control of the website it publicly dissociated itself from last year. He said he ordered that website be taken down.

The website, apc.com.ng, now only shows the official logo of the APC, with a note, “OUR WEBSITE IS UNDER MAINTAINANCE”. It was not clear when the control of the website was regained by the party.

In the first paragraph of the power supply section of the APC’s Next Level agenda published on apc.com.ng the section begins with the statement, “Our first priority is keeping America safe and secure,” which indicates that it was copied and not edited before it was published.

In September 2016, a part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Change Begins With Me” speech, delivered at the launching of a social initiative against corruption and other vices, was copied from former American president Barack Obama’s 2008 victory speech.

The Presidency placed the blame on a deputy director whom it said had been disciplined but did not provide any evidence as to the identity of the official or the extent of punishment.

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