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NO, Kogi State Does Not Occupy 30,354 Square Kilometres of Land!

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CLAIM 1 – That Kogi state occupies 30,354 square kilometres of land 

CLAIM 2 – Kogi state has a population of 4.7 million people

CONCLUSION – MOSTLY FALSE; the two part statement made by the Kogi State Senator and gubernatorial aspirant, Dino Malaye, is mostly false consequent on the fact that Kogi state currently occupies 29,833 square kilometres of land and there is insufficient data available on its current population.



With the upcoming governorship elections around the corner, indigenes are keeping their eyes and ears peeled for promises by aspirants. Such is the case with Senator Dino Melaye. On the 31st of July, the Senator representing Kogi Central Constituency who happens to also be a Governorship Aspirant caught the attention of the media with a singular statement.

I will operate Kogi like an independent country. Kogi occupies 30,354 square kilometres of land, with a population of about 4.7 million people,” he said.

A media interaction organized by the Kogi state Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) for governorship aspirants in Lokoja reported. However, what was of interest was the assertion that the state occupied 30,354 square kilometres and has a population of 4.7 million people.

Kogi state is one of the states slated to have its governorship elections in November and political activities has kicked off in the state. To this end, this fact check is necessary to ensure that the public is well informed about the claims of their political aspirants and other popular figures; one of which is Dino Melaye, a Nigerian politician, Senator and member of the 8th National Assembly, representing Kogi West Senatorial district. Dino is also a member of the People’s Democratic Party. He is currently the Chairman of the Senate Committee in F.C.T. 

Verification of Claims:

Having conducted research on the subject, it was found that Kogi state actually occupies a total of 29,833 square kilometres. This of course renders the first claim to be FALSE. It is worth noting that although Wikipedia is not the most reputable source, their reliability with respect to statistical data of this sort is well known.

It is also worth noting the limitations to determining the veracity of the second claim. With the latest national census being held as far back as 2006, population projection analytics had to be consulted. Data from the census (2006) put Kogi state at a population of 3,313,043. Population projection data found in the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and information on Kogi state website further showed that as at 2016, the state is expected to have a population of 4,473,490.

Considering that most of the available data on the subject are either outdated or at best, calculated guesses, the veracity of the claim remains in question. Regardless, we are certainly not saying it is admissible. This is because the Senator would not have verifiable data to make such an assertion.

[A message was sent to the Senator via his Facebook pages to know the source of his claim. And, as at the time of filing this report, we can confirm the read receipt; but still no official response.]


The two part statement made by the Kogi State Senator and gubernatorial aspirant, Dino Malaye is mostly false. This is consequent on the fact that Kogi state currently occupies 29,833 square kilometres of land and there is insufficient data available on its current population.

This fact-check was done by a Dubawa Fact-checking Fellow in collaboration with The Nation, the second-most-read newspaper in Nigeria according to a 2011 report by The Advertisers’ Association of Nigeria. To see this article and others, check out:

Justina Asishana is the Niger state correspondent for The Nation Newspaper, Nigeria's foremost nationwide daily and online newspaper. Justina has previously worked at the New Nigerian newspaper and Daily Newswatch newspaper as the Niger state correspondent. She is an upcoming data and investigative journalist who has just discovered how to use data and data related tools for better reporting. She has done some investigative reporting for her media organization, The Nation Newspaper, the International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), and the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ). She covers all sectors as a state correspondent. She was recently inducted as a Dubawa Fellow which is a fact checking fellowship to combat misinformation in the state and nation; she is the 2019 ONE Champion in Niger state and was the ICFJ 2018 Safety Fellow. Ms Justina is not afraid to explore new subjects and topics as she is always open and ready to learn new things in the field of journalism. She loves to read, write, explore the internet, travel, network, experiment with data tools and advocate for the rights of the people.

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