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FALSE! INEC did not redeploy staffers from Abuja

CLAIM: INEC relocates ICT staffers from Abuja ahead of a rerun election.

VERDICT: FALSE. There is no information related to the claim on INEC’s website. The commission last undertook a redeployment exercise back in August 2023.

Full Text

A Facebook user, John Nwaokorie, posted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is redeploying some of its staffers who work in the organisation’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) arm ahead of a possible rerun election.

“There may be a rerun for the presidential elections because they are transferring some directing staffs in ICT in Abuja, and those staffs are mostly from a particular region, where they perceive LP has more supporters,” part of the Facebook post reads.

The claimant further asserted that due to the redeployment, supposedly limited to an unnamed region, the staff left in the ICT are from the North and southwest. 

Before the final judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), which came to a wrap yesterday, September 6, 2023, there were rumours of a presidential rerun election. However, an election rerun was only dependent on the tribunal’s outcome.

The post, which received a fairly low engagement, garnered only 21 likes and 12 comments as of Wednesday, September 6, 2023—however, some commentators were sceptical about it.

“Can I get your graphic designer? He really did a great job manipulating this,” Micheal Olajide scorned.

“We have eyes on them all(.)” declared Martin Luther Agweye.

Due to the gravity of the claim, we decided to fact-check it.

Verification

We viewed INEC’s website and found nothing related to the development on their news dashboard.

We discovered that the last time the electoral commission redeployed some of its top hierarchy staffers, including Resident Election Commissioners (REC) and directors, was in August 2022. News outlets such as Punch, This Day, Daily Post, and The Sun all reported the development.

Significantly, all the staffers that were redeployed were not Information Communication Technology (ICT) personnel, but there were those from other departments of the commission. The redeployment happened among those working both in the north and south-east axis of the country, contrary to the impression the claim tried to create.

Meanwhile, INEC plans to only conduct gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi, according to its website. No announcement has been made to conduct an election rerun. 

We also called INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, for further comment, but he has yet to respond.

Conclusion

The claim is false. There is no information relating to the claim on INEC’s website. INEC also last undertook a redeployment operation back in August 2022, according to news outlets.  

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