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LIVE FACT-CHECKS: Nigeria’s 2023 Governorship Election – MONDAY & TUESDAY, MARCH 20 – 21, 2023

Claim 9:

CLAIM: A Naija news report claiming that Anambra state governor, Chukwuma Soludo, has threatened state residents that “there will be consequences for not voting APGA” has been circulating on social media.

FINDING: The report is based on a viral video, which shows Soludo discussing with a few people in Igbo language, standing in front of the Anambra State government House. The governor told a story claiming that Micheal Okpara, the premier of the Eastern Region in the First Republic, unearthed pipes his government laid in Inyi because the town did not vote for his party NCNC. Soludo concluded, “there must be a consequence, and there must be a reward.” We analysed the video on INVID, and its metadata confirmed that it is recent. In a different video, Soludo promised to cooperate with only APGA state assembly members.    

LIVE FACT-CHECKS: Nigeria’s 2023 Governorship Election - MONDAY & TUESDAY, MARCH 20 - 21, 2023

VERDICT: CORRECT

SOURCES: Twitter, Sahara Reporters, InVID

DATE: 21/02/2023

Claim 8: 

CLAIM: Twitter users have shared a video claiming that police officers colluded with PDP thugs and INEC ad-hoc officials to whisk away ballot boxes in ward 20, polling unit 042, Port Harcourt Local Government Area (PHALGA) of Rivers state, during the governorship elections. 

FINDING: From the NFC’s footage review, the police officers did not engage the INEC officers. Also, CODE observer Evelyn Williams, in Rivers state, confirmed to the NFC that thugs snatched ballot boxes in some local government wards in Obio-Akpor and PHALGA. Still, there were no reports of police officers’ involvement. 

Meanwhile, the NFC discovered that voting results from the polling unit had been uploaded on the IReV portal. According to the results, PDP polled 85 votes, LP got six, and Action Democratic Party (ADP) scored four. The Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Action Party (A) received two votes each.

LIVE FACT-CHECKS: Nigeria’s 2023 Governorship Election - MONDAY & TUESDAY, MARCH 20 - 21, 2023

VERDICT: Unproven 

SOURCE: IReV Portal, CODE observer

DATE: 21-03-2023

Claim 7: 

CLAIM: A broadcast message circulated on social media, particularly WhatsApp, implies that the INEC’s presiding Officer for Abia state, Professor Nnenna Oti, stated that the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu “directed” her to influence election results in Abia state. 

LIVE FACT-CHECKS: Nigeria’s 2023 Governorship Election - MONDAY & TUESDAY, MARCH 20 - 21, 2023

FINDING: The alleged statement is found to have been doctored and altered. Although Ms Oti made a statement before calling on her administrative secretary to read the INEC’s press release suspending the election, she never insinuated foul play, as stated in the viral post. A 13-minute-long video report by TVC contains her actual statement. The INEC chairman and her administrative secretary debunked the claims when the NFC contacted them. Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to INEC, has also issued a rebuttal debunking the claim.

LIVE FACT-CHECKS: Nigeria’s 2023 Governorship Election - MONDAY & TUESDAY, MARCH 20 - 21, 2023

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCE: TVC, NFC, and INEC 

DATE: 21/03/2023

Claim 6:

CLAIM: A Twitter user @omoelerinjare posted a video stating that the INEC collation officer deployed to Obingwa LGA in Abia State was brutalised by PDP thugs for not allowing them to change election results.

FINDING: According to Radio Nigeria’s report, INEC’s office in Obingwa Local Government of Abia state was attacked last Sunday. Some of its officials were held hostage in connection with the collation of results. The incident has prompted INEC’s review of the result. However, the NFC could not ascertain if they were thugs from any particular political party.

LIVE FACT-CHECKS: Nigeria’s 2023 Governorship Election - MONDAY & TUESDAY, MARCH 20 - 21, 2023

VERDICT: Partly Correct

SOURCE: Radio Nigeria

DATE: 21/03/2023

CLAIM 5:

Claim: A Twitter user, Chinaza #PeterObi-HypeMan (@MuchTalksBlog1), claims the Labour Party gubernatorial candidate in Enugu state, Chijioke Edeoga, has won the Governorship election.

FINDING: As of noon today, INEC is yet to declare the winner of the gubernatorial election in Enugu state. Reports by Vanguard, Thisday live, and Tribune online show that INEC has suspended the collation of results in Enugu state. 

LIVE FACT-CHECKS: Nigeria’s 2023 Governorship Election - MONDAY & TUESDAY, MARCH 20 - 21, 2023

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCE: Vanguard, Tribune online, and Thisday live newspapers

DATE: 21/03/2023

Claim 4:

CLAIM: A Twitter user, @chukzwrld, shared a video claiming that Enugu residents camped in the INEC office on Monday, 20 March 2023, “demanding the restoration of their stolen mandate!”

FINDING: In the video, protesters sang and prayed in Igbo, a language widely spoken in Enugu state, and they held posters of the Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in Enugu, Chijioke Edeoga. Enugu-based journalists confirmed the incident saying they are LP supporters protesting due to allegations of manipulation of the governorship election results of two outstanding local government areas – Nsukka and Nkanu East. In response, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the suspension of collation in those local government areas.          

LIVE FACT-CHECKS: Nigeria’s 2023 Governorship Election - MONDAY & TUESDAY, MARCH 20 - 21, 2023

VERDICT: CORRECT 

SOURCE: Journalists and INEC

DATE: 20/03/2023

Claim 3

CLAIM: A Nigerian newspaper, Tribune, reports that Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won the Enugu State gubernatorial election. 

FINDING: The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the collation of results in the state. The commission said the suspension was to review results from two outstanding LGAs of Nsukka and Nkanu East. 

As of 3:29pm on Monday, INEC had yet to complete the review. It has also not announced the winner as claimed. 

LIVE FACT-CHECKS: Nigeria’s 2023 Governorship Election - MONDAY & TUESDAY, MARCH 20 - 21, 2023

VERDICT: MISLEADING 

SOURCE: INEC

DATE: 20/03/2023

Claim 2:

CLAIM: A Twitter user, Habibu Abdulwahab (@sarkiabdulwahab), claims that at just 23 years of age, Mr Muhammad Adamu Oyanki has been elected to represent Doma North at the Nasarawa state House of Assembly.

FINDING: Based on the final list of House of Assembly contestants released by INEC and published by Premium Times, Mr Muhammad Adamu Oyanki, contesting under PDP, is 26 years old, not 23. As of 10 am today, INEC is yet to release the results of the Nasarawa state HOA elections.  

LIVE FACT-CHECKS: Nigeria’s 2023 Governorship Election - MONDAY & TUESDAY, MARCH 20 - 21, 2023

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCE: INEC, PREMIUM TIMES

DATE: 20/03/2023

Claim 1:

CLAIM: Social media user @JohnFanimokun shared a video claiming All Progressives Grand Alliance and Labour Party supporters clashed in Anambra state on Saturday.

FINDING: Using Google Earth, the NFC performed a geo-location on the video and discovered it was captured at Shadia Onanuga street, Abule-Ado, in Lagos state. 

LIVE FACT-CHECKS: Nigeria’s 2023 Governorship Election - MONDAY & TUESDAY, MARCH 20 - 21, 2023

Also, an INVID analysis of the video showed that it appeared recently during the elections. Also, the female voice-over alleged that the violence distracted voters. 

LIVE FACT-CHECKS: Nigeria’s 2023 Governorship Election - MONDAY & TUESDAY, MARCH 20 - 21, 2023

VERDICT: INCORRECT 

SOURCE: Google Earth, INVID 

DATE: 20/03/2023

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, 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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