The 2023 election was riddled with false claims targeted at swaying voters and altering reality as Nigerians went to the poll on election days. TheCable thoroughly fact-checked these claims to put the facts straight.
1. FACT CHECK: Video of arrested thugs shared by Dino Melaye is old
CLAIM: Dino Melaye, the spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign council, shared a video of arrested political thugs on Twitter. The caption says the APC thugs were arrested in Lagos on Friday, March 17, 2023.
The video is old and misleading. Checks by TheCable revealed that the video has been on YouTube as far back as May 29, 2022.
2. FAKE NEWS ALERT: Labour Party did not issue statement nullifying Rhodes-Vivour’s candidacy
CLAIM: A circulating statement purportedly from the Labour Party (LP) claims that Ifagbemi Awamaridi is the valid gubernatorial candidate of the party in Lagos and not Gbadegbo Rhodes-Vivour.
Yunusa Tanko, the spokesperson of the LP campaign, said the statement is false. He added that the signatures of the Lagos party chairman and secretary in the statement were forged to mislead Lagos voters.
3. FACT CHECK: Bloodied picture of Olumide Oworu, LP Lagos assembly candidate, is from movie set
CLAIM: A bloodied picture of Olumide Oworu, the LP house of assembly candidate for Surulere LGA 1, is circulating on social media with the claim that the injuries in the photo were sustained in an attack by political thugs.
The viral image of Oworu is old and misleading. The five-month-old image was from a movie set, On The Edge. It has no connection with the attack on the LP house of assembly candidate in Surulere on March 14.
4. FACT CHECK: Circulating audio of Obasanjo, Donald Duke was doctored to mislead Nigerians
CLAIM: A circulating audio clip purportedly of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Charles Oputa, and Donald Duke, former governor of Cross River states, claims that the ex-president said that the youths should protest the election result, hoping that when the nation is paralysed, there would be a solution.
TheCable analysed the audio using Python, a high-level, general-purpose programming language. The audio was doctored to mislead, hence the statements therein can’t be attributed to individuals in the clip.
5. FACT CHECK: Video of army accusing Wike of bribery, election misconduct is old
CLAIM: A video of the Nigerian Army accusing Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, of attempting to bribe the military to compromise the election has gone viral on social media.
The circulating video is from 2019 and is not in any way related to the recently concluded presidential election which held on February 25, 2023.
6. FAKE NEWS ALERT: EU did not author viral statement seeking nullification of Tinubu’s victory
CLAIM: A letter purportedly from the European Union (EU) challenging the credibility of the recently concluded presidential election in Nigeria is circulating on social media.
In a statement sent to TheCable, Agnes Doka, press officer for the EU in Nigeria, debunked the claim saying the letter is false.
7. FACT CHECK: Obasanjo did not go to INEC collation centre with original result sheet
CLAIM: Social media posts claimed that former president Olusegun Obasanjo showed up at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation centre in Abuja with original result sheets for the presidential election.
The claim that Obasanjo showed up at the INEC collation centre in Abuja with the authentic result is false.
8. FACT CHECK: No, thugs did not set Ladipo market ablaze
CLAIM: A video circulating on social media claims that thugs have set ablaze the Ladipo auto spare part market in Lagos state.
The misleading video is an old recording which was taken one year ago when fired raised the market in February 2022.
9. FACT CHECK: Viral audio of Wike ‘strategising to rig elections’ is from 2016
CLAIM: A circulating audio recording of Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, has claimed that he bribed Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials to rig the presidential election which held last Saturday.
The circulating audio is not a reflection of what happened last Saturday — February 25, 2023 — during the presidential, senate and house of representative elections. The audio is six years old and the conclusion is misleading.
10. FACT CHECK: No evidence INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, visited Tinubu’s Lagos residence
CLAIM: Social media posts quoted Datti Baba-Ahmed, vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), to have insinuated via a tweet that Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, sneaked into Tinubu’s residence in Ikoyi on Saturday (February 25) night.
The exact quote was also attributed to Bode George, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
VERDICT: No Evidence.
There is no evidence that the INEC chairman met with Tinubu in Lagos yesterday. Also, the fact that the exact quote is attributed to two individuals questions the claim’s authenticity.
11. FACT CHECK: Claims that Datti Baba-Ahmed won his polling unit are false
CLAIM: Recurring claims on social media say Datti Baba-Ahmed, the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), won his polling unit.
The claim that Baba-Ahmed won his polling unit in the Kaduna-south ward is false. The LP vice-presidential candidate came third with 54 votes in Tudun Wada in Zaria LGA of Kaduna, while the PDP secured 102 votes.
12. FACT CHECK: Did Obasanjo say only rigging will stop Obi from becoming president?
CLAIM: A viral post on social media claims that former president Olusegun Obasanjo said only rigging will stop Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), from winning the presidential election.
There is no evidence that the ex-president made such a statement. Also, a thorough Google search revealed that no credible news platform published a report attributing the circulating quote to Obasanjo.
13. FACT CHECK: Video showing security operatives killing miscreants NOT from Nigeria
CLAIM: A video showing security operatives attacking and killing gunmen partaking in electoral violence in the ongoing election has gone viral.
The footage is an old video. It was filmed during a military drill ahead of Ghana’s 2020 election.
14. FACT CHECK: Did Obasanjo refer to Tinubu as a thoroughbred politician?
CLAIM: A screenshot circulating on WhatsApp claims that former president Olusegun Obasanjo referred to Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as a thoroughbred politician.
The text in the circulating WhatsApp screenshot is false.
15. FACT CHECK: Misleading video alleging Wike’s defection from PDP to APC is old
CLAIM: A video circulating on Twitter claims that Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, has defected from the PDP to the APC.
The old video is from a virtual interview Wike granted to AriseTV in 2021. In the interview, he reacted to the defection of Dave Umahi, the governor of Ebonyi State.
16. FACT CHECK: Yes, EFCC visited Tinubu’s polling unit in Lagos
CLAIM: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) visited Tinubu’s polling unit in Alausa, Lagos during the presidential election on February 25, 2023.
TheCable reporter in Alausa confirmed that operatives of the EFCC visited Tinubu’s polling unit -PU 85, ward 3 – located at Sunday Adigun, Alausa, Ikeja.
However, the EFFCC operatives did not interrupt the voting process.
17. FACT CHECK: Were Chadians with PVCs arrested at Nigerian border as Charly Boy claimed?
CLAIM: A viral post on social media claims that 100 trucks conveying over 1 million Chadians to Kaduna were arrested ahead of the presidential elections.
Charles Oputa, also known as Charly Boy shared the post via his verified Instagram handle, @AreaFada1, to his 192k followers.
The viral post by the popular entertainer, Charly Boy, is false.
18. FACT CHECK: Viral audio of Atiku, Tambuwal and Okowa plotting to rig election is doctored
CLAIM: A trending audio of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the PDP and that of Ifeanyi Okowa, his running mate, and Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto claims the PDP is plotting to rig the elections
The trending audio has been doctored. Various unrelated audio clips containing the voices of the main actors have been edited to mislead members of the public.
19. FAKE NEWS ALERT: No one will be allowed to vote without PVC, says INEC
CLAIM: A message circulating on WhatsApp has claimed that registered voters who could not get their PVCs can still vote in the elections.
According to INEC, every eligible voter is required to have his or her permanent voter card (PVC) ready when the polling units open tomorrow, Saturday, February 25th at 8.30 am. No voter without a PVC will be allowed to vote.
20. FAKE NEWS ALERT: No plan to shut down banking services for elections, says CBN
CLAIM: A viral broadcast message on WhatsApp claimed that the CBN would shut down all electronic banking networks between Thursday 23 February till 27th of February, n order to prevent vote buying in the presidential election. The post advised members of the public to go stock up.
The CBN in a post via its official Twitter handle said it was false and urged citizens to be on the lookout for fake news.
P.S: To read the individual election fact checks above, click the part of the headline in hyperlink. Also, click here for more 2023 election-related fact checks by TheCable.
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