ElectionsLive Updates

ELECTION DAY FACT-CHECKS: 2023 Presidential/NASS Election

Claim 1

CLAIM: Twitter users claim the Accord party has merged with Labour Party (LP).

FINDING: The National Chairman of the Accord Party, Reverend Issac Adeniyi, confirmed to the NFC that the party has merged with LP and has declared its support for the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

VERDICT: CORRECT

SOURCE: Accord Party chairman

DATE: 25/02/2023

Claim 2

CLAIM: The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has withdrawn from the race and has asked his supporters to vote for Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

FINDING: The chief spokesperson of the Labour Party’s Presidential Campaign Council, Dr Yunusa Tanko, has debunked the viral claim in a press conference. He said Obi is still in the race. Also, a search on the official Twitter handle of the LP presidential candidate showed he is still contesting as he urged his supporters to cast their votes in his favour.

VERDICT: INCORRECT. 

DATE: 25/02/2023

Claim 3

CLAIM: Some social media users claim the Boko Haram terrorist group has taken over INEC offices in Kaduna and Kano states.

FINDING: The images attached to the posts are old and are from unrelated incidents in the past. One of them is as old as 2016. The spokesperson of the Kaduna State Police Command, Mohammed Jalige, debunked the report noting that the INEC office has not been and was not under any form of attack. Also, the Kano state police spokesperson, Haruna Abdullahi, said it is a fake report. 

VERDICT: INCORRECT. 

SOURCE: Kano State Police Command, Kaduna State Police Command.

DATE: 25/03/2023

Claim 4

CLAIM: A viral SMS claims voters can locate their polling units by sending their PVC 9-digit codes to 8014.

FINDING: Our findings show this to be false. The Commissioner for Information and Voter Education at INEC, Festus Okoye, has also clarified that the alleged code is not from the Commission. He advised voters to stick to the official contact information released by the INEC

VERDICT: INCORRECT 

SOURCE: Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Claim 5

CLAIM: A viral audio clip purports the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, his running mate Ifeanyi Okowa, and Aminu Tanbuwal of Sokoto State, are plotting to rig the general election.

FINDING: An analysis of the audio note shows that the trio’s voices were cut from previously recorded speeches and joined to create the conversation recording. The audio has been doctored; hence it is fake.

VERDICT: INCORRECT 

SOURCE: OSINT

Claim 6

CLAIM: Twitter users claim the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has withdrawn from the presidential race and declared his support for Labour Party’s candidate, Peter Obi. 

FINDING: The claim is not supported by any evidence. Local and international media would have widely reported such a major development, but no credible media has reported such. Abubakar voted in his home state, Adamawa, north-east Nigeria, at about 9 am and expressed his confidence in winning the election to journalists. Atiku’s media aide, Paul Ibe, also debunked the claim in a phone call.

VERDICT: INCORRECT 

SOURCE: Multiple news sources, Atiku’s media aide

DATE: 25/02/2023

Claim 7

CLAIM: Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the Labour Party governorship candidate in Lagos, said over six million new permanent voter cards were collected in the state.

FINDING: Voter card collection data published by the Independent National Electoral Commission shows this is incorrect. INEC’s data released on February 23, 2023, shows the total number of previously and newly collected voter cards in Lagos is 6.2 million. If Mr Rhodes-Vivour had referred to both old and new, he would have been correct.

VERDICT: Incorrect

SOURCE: INEC

DATE: 25-02-2023 

Claim 8

CLAIM: A blog site, litepawa.org, published a report on how Ganduje’s supporters attacked the supporters of Kwankwaso in Kano State. 

FINDING: Aside from the blog site lacking all the qualities of a reliable news organisation, such as not featuring an ‘about us’ page or ‘contact us’ on their website, the alleged video that depicts the bloody clash was linked to an advert. Additionally, no report elsewhere hints at the acclaimed bloody conflict in Kano. 

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCE: OSINT 

DATE: 25/02/2023

Claim 9

CLAIM:  A video showing electoral violence in Nigeria’s 2023 elections has gone viral on social media.

FINDING: The video was shot in Ghana during a military drill ahead of the country’s 2020 general election. The latest version of the video the NFC discovered on social media was dated December 2020. It was also found here. A Ghana-based news outlet, Thedistin, also published the video in November 2020.

VERDICT: INCORRECT. 

SOURCE: The Distin, Instagram, Twitter.
DATE: 25/02/2023

Claim 10

CLAIM: Katsina State Police Command arrested party agents for attempting to hack into the INEC server. 

FINDING: The spokesperson of Katsina Police Command, Gambo Isah, when contacted, confirmed the arrest of some party agents. He, however, stated that after an in-depth investigation, it was discovered that the political party involved intended to set up a situation room using application software and not to hack INEC servers. He also confirmed the same in a press release.

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCE: Katsina State Police Command

DATE: 25/02/2023

Claim 11

CLAIM: A Twitter user urged supporters of Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to vote overwhelmingly in Abuja. The claimant stated that the presidential candidates of APC’s Bola Tinubu and PDP’s Atiku Abubakar wouldn’t be declared president if they failed to get 25% in the FCT.

FINDING: Section 133 of the Nigerian Constitution stipulates that a presidential candidate shall be deemed to have been duly elected if he has a majority of votes cast and “has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.” 

The law doesn’t state winning 25% of votes in Abuja is a condition for winning the presidential election. Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, said in an interview on Channels TV, “You don’t have to win the FCT; if you meet the requirement, that is two-thirds of the majority of states in the country.” He said courts have ruled that the FCT should be treated as a state. 

VERDICT: Misleading

SOURCE: The Nigerian Constitution

DATE: 25/02/2023

Claim 12

CLAIM: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) storms Tinubu’s polling unit in Alausa, Lagos.

FINDING: Some media reports confirmed that the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were at PU 085, Ward 3, Sunday Adigun, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, where the APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, voted. The ICIR reporter at the polling unit also confirmed the EFCC’s visit. However, the voting process was not disrupted by their visit. 

VERDICT: CORRECT

SOURCE:  Punch, Vanguard newspapers and others.

DATE: 25/02/2022

Claim 13

CLAIM: Simon Ekpa, a pro-Biafran agitator, claims voters are not out in Igweocha part of Rivers State to vote due to the IPOB’s sit-at-home order. 

FINDING:  An election observer affiliated with the Center for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), present in the Igweocha area, debunked the news and confirmed that voting is currently ongoing in the area. NFC obtained visual evidence showing that the election was ongoing.

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCE: CJID Observer

DATE: 25/02/2023

Claim 14

CLAIM: A video circulating on social media showed the moment President Muhammadu Buhari voted for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.

FINDING: President Muhammadu Buhari voted earlier today at Daura, Katsina state and showed off his ballot papers. Screenshots from the video obtained by the NFC showed that the president voted for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress. The clearer versions of the pictures were also found here and here

In a tweet by the presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, Mr Buhari said he voted for Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC.

VERDICT: INCORRECT. The president did not cast his vote for Mr Obi.

SOURCE: Punch, The Cable, Premium Times

DATE: 25/02/2023

Claim 15

CLAIM: A Twitter user, Baron Chymaker (@chymaker), urged supporters of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to vote overwhelmingly in Abuja. The claimant stated that the presidential candidates of APC’s Bola Tinubu and PDP’s Atiku Abubakar wouldn’t be declared president if they failed to get 25% in the FCT.

FINDING: Section 133 of the Nigerian Constitution stipulates that a presidential candidate shall be deemed to have been duly elected if he has a majority of votes cast and “has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.” 

The law doesn’t state winning 25% of votes in Abuja is a condition for winning the presidential election. Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, said in an interview on Channels TV, “You don’t have to win the FCT; if you meet the requirement, that is two-thirds of the majority of states in the country.” He said courts have ruled that the FCT should be treated as a state. 

VERDICT: Misleading

SOURCE: The Nigerian Constitution

DATE: 25/02/2023

Claim 16

CLAIM: A Twitter user, Baron Chymaker (@chymaker), urged supporters of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to vote overwhelmingly in Abuja. The claimant stated that the presidential candidates of APC’s Bola Tinubu and PDP’s Atiku Abubakar wouldn’t be declared president if they failed to get 25% in the FCT.

FINDING: Section 133 of the Nigerian Constitution stipulates that a presidential candidate shall be deemed to have been duly elected if he has a majority of votes cast and “has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.” 

The law doesn’t state winning 25% of votes in Abuja is a condition for winning the presidential election. Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, said in an interview on Channels TV, “You don’t have to win the FCT; if you meet the requirement, that is two-thirds of the majority of states in the country.” He said courts have ruled that the FCT should be treated as a state. 

VERDICT: Misleading

SOURCE: The Nigerian Constitution

DATE: 25/02/2023

Claim 17

CLAIM: Former senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye, in a Facebook post, claimed that thugs of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had been arrested in Kogi Central Senatorial district by soldiers. 

FINDING: A Connected Development (CODE) observer on the field, Umar Mohammed, confirmed the incident occurred in Kogi Central around 11 am. He also noted that one of the men arrested is an appointee of the APC government in Kogi State.

A reverse image search did not suggest the image is recent or existed earlier than February 25.

VERDICT: CORRECT

SOURCE: CODE Observer

DATE: 25/02/2023

Claim 18

CLAIM: A Twitter user claims that voting is yet to commence in some parts of Bayelsa at about 4 pm.

FINDING: NFC contacted an observer from Connected Development (CODE), Tare Amananaghan, who confirmed the report and added that the HOD of INEC’s Voter Education Publicity (VEP), Wilfred Ifogah, had informed earlier that the situation was due to a shortage of ballot paper. As of 5 pm, Ms Amananaghan confirmed voting had commenced in many polling units affected.

VERDICT: CORRECT

SOURCE: CODE Observer

Claim 19

CLAIM: An online report has announced the death of the party chairman of the Labour Party, representing the Karshi District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Valentine Onuigbo. The chairman reportedly died in his sleep in the wee hours of Saturday, February 25. 

FINDINGS: The spokesperson of the Labour Party, Mr Yunusa Tanko, has confirmed the incident. Newspapers such as Tribune, Vanguard and Prime Business Africa, among others, have also confirmed the demise.

VERDICT: CORRECT

SOURCE: Tribune, Vanguard, Prime Business Africa and Labour Party Spokesperson 

DATE: 25/02/2023

This live-check was jointly researched and written by members of the Nigerian Fact-Checkers’ Coalition (NFC): Nurudeen Akewushola, Faith Abeka, Fatimah Quadri (FactCheckHub); Rosemary Ajayi (Digital Africa Research Lab); Daniel Adaji (The Insight); Elizabeth Ogunbamowo, Lois Ugbede, Cole Praise, Silas Jonathan, Lateef Sanni (Dubawa); Catherine Adeniyi, Motunrayo Joel, Allwell Okpi, Seyi Awojuyigbe, Fatimah Abubakar, Abisola Olasupo (Africa Check); Rejoice Ewodage, Hannah Ajakaiye (FactsMatterNG), Shehu Olayinka and Bamas Victoria (ICIR).

It was edited and approved for publication by Kemi Busari, Caroline Anipah, Simbiat Bakare (Dubawa), David Ajikobi (Africa Check), Ajibola Amzat, and Opeyemi Kehinde (FactCheckHub).

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