Claim: Chris Ngige advised APC not to celebrate the presidential election victory, drawing from his legal experience with Peter Obi.
Verdict: FALSE. As confirmed by Ngige’s spokesperson, the minister did not make such a statement.
Reactions have continued since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) the winner of Nigeria’s February 25, 2023, presidential election.
One such claim is the Twitter post by Gabriel Chima (@gabrielchimam) on March 21, 2023. In this tweet, Mr Chima claimed that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said he had told the APC not to celebrate the presidential election yet, drawing from his experience with Peter Obi in court.
The Twitter account used an image of Mr Ngige answering questions from journalists to support the tweet.
“I told APC not to celebrate the presidential election yet because only me knew what I saw in Peter Obi’s hands during our court case,” the quote reads.
Recall that after INEC declared Mr Ngige of PDP as governor-elect in the April 19, 2003 governorship election in Anambra State, Mr Obi, who contested the election under All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), went to court to challenge the result.
He got his mandate back on March 17, 2006, following the Appeal Court ruling that Mr Obi was the rightful winner of the April 19, 2003 election. A detail of this account and the long judicial battle embarked upon by Peter Obi in Anambra State can be found in this publication by Premium Times.
As of March 22, 2023, @gabrielchimam’s tweet had gathered over 3,000 engagements, including views, likes, retweets and comments.
However, Twitter users in the comment section expressed disbelief.
Twitter users’ suspicion of the tweet and the post’s virality prompted DUBAWA to verify it.
We conducted a keyword search to discover if the claim was reported on credible news platforms. We also searched for the alleged quote in recent news, but there was none.
We further discovered that Mr Ngige does not have a Twitter or Facebook. account.
DUBAWA then contacted the minister’s spokesperson, Emmanuel Nzomiwu, via WhatsApp, who debunked the claim. Mr Nsomiwu also confirmed via phone that Mr Ngige is not active on social media.
“Fake news. Disregard it, please. Thanks for reaching out,” Mr Nzomiwu said.
Our findings and a message from Chris Ngige’s spokesperson, Emmanuel Nzomiwu, revealed that the quote credited to Mr Ngige is false.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2023 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with the newsroom of Wazobia FM and Nigeria Info FM to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.