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LIVE FACT-CHECK: DUBAWA, NFC monitor mis/disinformation as electorates decide gubernatorial, state assembly seats

Nigeria’s 2023 Gubernatorial and State Assembly Election has begun. To ensure the dispensation of accurate information during this period, DUBAWA, alongside other partners at the Nigerian Fact-checkers’ Coalition (NCF),  is carrying out live fact-checks to verify misleading information shared on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook.

Below are some of the claims:

Claim 1

CLAIM: Social media users share a letter claiming Labour Party, Lagos chapter has replaced gubernatorial candidate Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour with another. 

<strong>LIVE FACT-CHECK: DUBAWA, NFC monitor mis/disinformation as electorates decide gubernatorial, state assembly seats</strong>

FINDING: The NFC contacted Sam Emeka Okpala, the Lagos state Secretary of the Labour Party, who explained that the widely circulated letter was forged.

Also, the LP Lagos state chapter debunked the report via its Twitter handle, explaining that the candidacy of Mr Rhodes-Vivour had not been changed.

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCE: Lagos State LP Secretary

DATE: 18-03-2023

Claim 2

CLAIM: A Twitter user claims that the Lagos chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has collapsed its structure for LP governorship candidate Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.

<strong>LIVE FACT-CHECK: DUBAWA, NFC monitor mis/disinformation as electorates decide gubernatorial, state assembly seats</strong>

FINDING: The Lagos state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has debunked the claim. Also, the Director of Strategy and Communication, Lagos PDP governorship campaign, Seun Soyinka, told NFC that the claim is false. 

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCE: Lagos PDP governorship campaign team

DATE: 18/03/2023

Claim 3

CLAIM: Twitter users claim that thugs have destroyed a polling unit at Sangotedo, Ajah, in Lagos State.

<strong>LIVE FACT-CHECK: DUBAWA, NFC monitor mis/disinformation as electorates decide gubernatorial, state assembly seats</strong>

FINDING: The NFC contacted the state’s CODE Election observer, Daniel Atebe Joseph, who clarified that no election disruptions have occurred in the area so far. The observer stated that the only setback encountered in the vicinity was the case of INEC officials being late, causing rowdiness. However, the situation has been doused.

VERDICT: Incorrect 

SOURCE: CODE election observers 

DATE: 18/03/2023

Claim 4: 

CLAIM: Senator Dino Melaye claims that security forces arrested some thugs associated with APC in Lagos state yesterday, March 17.

<strong>LIVE FACT-CHECK: DUBAWA, NFC monitor mis/disinformation as electorates decide gubernatorial, state assembly seats</strong>

FINDING: The video Mr Melaye tweeted was first shared by a Twitter user on May 29, 2022, with a different narrative. A news media, Oyo Affairs, also made a report regarding the video on the same day, stating police intercepted thugs trying to disrupt APC primaries in Oyo state. 

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCE: Oyo Affairs, Twitter

DATE: 18/03/2023

Claim 5: 

CLAIM: In a video shared on Twitter, some thugs threaten to kill voters if they don’t vote for APC. The incident was reported at PU 039, Sabo Oniba, Ojo, Lagos state.

<strong>LIVE FACT-CHECK: DUBAWA, NFC monitor mis/disinformation as electorates decide gubernatorial, state assembly seats</strong>

FINDING: The NFC contacted the Lagos state’s CODE Election observer, Daniel Joseph, who noted that he got reports from the PU that thugs were threatening to kill voters if they didn’t vote for APC.

VERDICT: CORRECT

SOURCE: CODE Election Observer

DATE: 18/03/2023

Claim 6:

CLAIM: A Twitter user, @PIDOMNIGERIA, claimed that the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, was hospitalised on Monday and is in critical condition. 

<strong>LIVE FACT-CHECK: DUBAWA, NFC monitor mis/disinformation as electorates decide gubernatorial, state assembly seats</strong>

FINDING: According to media reports, Bola Tinubu cast his ballot earlier Saturday morning at his polling unit in Alausa, Ikeja area of Lagos State. The NFC contacted Tinubu’s media aide, Tunde Rahman, who clarified that the news was false. He reiterated that Mr Tinubu is fine.

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCE: Media Reports/Tinubu’s spokesperson Tunde Rahman

DATE: 18/03/2023

Claim 7

CLAIM: A Twitter user @KingChrissie2 claimed two results from polling units in Rivers state had been uploaded on the INEC result viewing portal as of 9:55 am. 

<strong>LIVE FACT-CHECK: DUBAWA, NFC monitor mis/disinformation as electorates decide gubernatorial, state assembly seats</strong>

FINDING: As of 11:56 am, when the NFC visited the INEC IReV portal, the result landing page indicates that two results have been uploaded out of over 6,800 polling units in the state. However, they are invalid. When NFC downloaded the result, the Ojugbe Townhall PU showed an empty result sheet, while the Baptist High School 1 PU showed the portrait of an unidentified man.

VERDICT: INCORRECT 

SOURCE: INEC IReV portal

DATE: 18/03/2023

Claim 8

CLAIM: The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) claimed that thugs have “reportedly hijacked and destroyed” electoral materials for State House of Assembly elections in four wards in Ogbia Local Government Area in Bayelsa State.

<strong>LIVE FACT-CHECK: DUBAWA, NFC monitor mis/disinformation as electorates decide gubernatorial, state assembly seats</strong>

FINDING: Daily Trust’s correspondent in Bayelsa State, Willie Bassey, confirmed to NFC that the incident affected four wards as the hoodlums attacked the RAC centre in the community. 

He added that the area affected is the Ogbia Constituency 2, Bayelsa State, not the entire local government. According to a Daily Trust report, an anonymous INEC official states that the materials were burnt. Also, the State’s Police Public Relations Officer, Asinim Butswat, confirmed that the report occurred last night.

VERDICT: Correct

SOURCE: Daily Trust/Bayelsa Police PPRO

DATE: 18/03/2023

See full claims here and here.

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, Temilade Onilede, Lateef Sanni (Dubawa); Catherine Adeniyi, Motunrayo Joel, Allwell Okpi, Seyi Awojuyigbe, Fatimah Abubakar, Abisola Olasupo (Africa Check); Faruk Shuaibu (Daily Trust); Felix Tola-Winjobi (CDD); Rejoice Ewodage, Hannah Ajakaiye (FactsMatterNG); Bunmi Aduloju (The Cable); 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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