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#QuickChecks: Bayelsa & Kogi Elections

Photo Credit: The Herald Nigeria 6 mins read

Twitter user claimed that Yahaya Bello paid thugs to assassinate Governor Makinde.

We can confirm that “hooded operatives” invaded Governor Makinde’s residence on November 15- 12:50 pm. However, there is no evidence that suggests Mr Bello sent the said thugs- albeit eye witness reports (by Daily Trust) identifies one of the operatives as a policeman.

Senator Dino Melaye claimed Governor Bello possessed “fake soldiers”.

Reverse image search revealed the image in question was recycled in its use. It originally popped up circa February 20th this year; prior to the presidential elections.

Twitter user reported the absence of electoral materials at Famkuta unit 001, Ward 5- Yenogoa local government area (LGA)- Bayelsa.

PTCIJ observer- Kabir Adejumo confirmed this report at 8:38 am. Meanwhile, accreditation and voting is supposed to commence by 8:00 am.

Twitter user claimed that sensitive materials were hijacked in wards 8,9 and 10- Nembe local government- Bayelsa.

PTCIJ Observer- Precious Ogbeide- was the first observer on the scene. She confirms that as at 7:40 am, sensitive materials had arrived at the ward. While, she also confirmed the presence of political thugs on the scene (as they temporarily detained her for questioning), no materials were hijacked. Subsequently, she confirmed the presence of a few voters present.

Twitter user claimed that “PDP thugs” disguised as security agents were caught in MopaMuro LGA- Kogi.

Olusola Oludiran, PTCIJ observer verified the report. At 9:10 am, policemen at the Delex Polling unit denied this assertion. More so, no violence has been recorded. Additionally, Evaristus Chioma- Polling Officer- corroborates this position.

The official twitter handle of PDP reported the absence of security personnel at the centre in Yenagoa. According to the account, this hampered the conveyance of INEC officials and ad-hoc staff to their respective polling units.

As at 11:30 am, INEC officials and Ad-hoc staff are yet to leave the Registration Area for their respective polling units. This is because thugs blocked the road; refraining the vehicles from conveying them. Observers and journalists within the vicinity had to trek to the other side of the roadblock. This was corroborated by Kabir Adejumo- PTCIJ observer- in Yenagoa; though he noted the presence of the police- calming down the situation. 

The Official Twitter handle for PDP reported faulty card readers at Kabba- Bunnu LGA.

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We confirmed that Ayeteju Kajola Polling Unit 1 has no card reader problem. Deborah Olaoye, PTCIJ observer in Kabba Bunnu LGA affirmed that the voting process is going on smoothly.

The official PDP twitter account claimed that APC Agents were arrested at Kabba- central market.

Sources confirm that the particular polling unit is peaceful and in order. The security personnel present confirmed this when PTCIJ observer, Deborah Olaoye asked. However, the Police Spokesperson in the state said Dubawa should call later in the day for confirmation.

Facebook post claimed Dino Melaye was sharing N500 to constituents at Ijumu LGA- Kogi.

Invid search reveals that this video was created today at about 09: 34 am. According to a video distributed on The cables Twitter page, Dino Melaye was not exactly sharing money to voters; what the video revealed was that he only gave a middle aged woman some money, and consequently a group of people were seen scampering for bean cake.

Twitter user claimed to spot a 2015 stamp used in during the 2019 Governorship elections- Dekina LGA, Kogi.

The PTCIJ observer- Alfred Olufemi- at the scene, spoke to one of the polling officers for verification. Daniel Imoukhuede confirmed that the stamp was given to them earlier this morning was from 2015. Subsequently, after the error was noticed, the stamped was replaced with the  2019 one.

Several reports of people killed and injured in Nembe.

Image analysis and verification did not offer any useful result. Additionally, we were unable to reach Asinim Butswat, Police Spokesperson; his phone was switched off. However, PTCIJ Observer in Nembe, Precious Ogbeide said that she did not witness any violent altercation. She also attested to no instances of death recorded. Most of the PTCIJ Observers in Bayelsa also noted zero altercations resulting in injury or death. However, Kabir Adejumo reported of a police van moving around with several injured persons and corpses in Yenagoa. Regardless, Dubawa advises the public against panic as the matter is under investigation; and will be updated as soon as new intel surfaces.

A Facebook post claimed that Henry Dickson said: “no election is taking place in Southern Ijaw and Nembe”.

At the moment, we cannot verify if the statement was truly made by the current Governor of the state. However, Precious Ogbeide- PTCIJ Observer-  confirmed that the election process proceeded in Nembe- albeit not entirely peaceful. Still, no death or violence was recorded. Southern Ijaw is yet to be confirmed.

Twitter user reported that police officers and INEC officials were aiding thugs in tearing the Ballot Papers of non-APC voters- Lokoja.

The situation in Lokoja has not been verified. However, a PTCIJ Observer confirmed a similar occurrence in Ajaokuta LGA. Electorates present told Oche Akor that INEC and ad hoc staff are only accepting APC votes. He was told a vote for APC earns you 2000 naira; while a vote for another party either resulted in you being sent away or having your ballot paper torn.

Facebook user claims that the APC government dispatched thumbprint enabled replacements for ballot boxes.

No PTCIJ observer on the ground spotted any vehicles approaching the polling units with the said devices. Moreover, the total number of votes (ballot papers) are tallied and pasted per polling unit; prior to transferring them to collation centres. What happens after, is unknown.

Masked policemen and naval officers are intimidating people- Twitter user claims. He also reported on a helicopter spraying teargas at polling units.

Observers report masked police officers in some polling units (PU); clashes between voters and police; sporadic shooting in some areas and the presence of political thugs in some PUS. Additionally, Akintunde Babatunde- PTCIJ Observer- confirmed the presence of a helicopter in Lokoja spraying teargas.
However, the presence of naval and airforce security agents has not been confirmed.

Twitter user posted a video featuring shooting in Kogi.

Invid analytics verified the one minute video was created on the 16th of November- 5: 34 pm. Additionally, a PTCIJ Observer (who preferred to remain anonymous) at Ayetoro LGA, Kogi West Senatorial District, confirmed the premise. According to her, voting was on-going when the thugs disrupted the process; smashed ballot boxes and opened fire. Coincedentally, the observer met the same perpetrators at Odokoro LGA; the man in purple threatened to smash her phone.

Twitter page claimed that INEC declared 30 staff missing.

Daramosu Lateefah- PTCIJ Observer- was on the scene- Olamaboro LGA. She reports that the INEC Election officer- Garba Mahmood- present declared 30 ad-hoc staff missing; adding that they were seen shortly after voting concluded. Efforts to reach the police Spokesperson in Kogi by Premium Times proved abortive. Stay tuned for updates…

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