As Nigerians head to the poll on Saturday, February 25, 2023, for Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential and National Assembly Elections, the Nigerian Fact-checkers’ Coalition (NFC) brings you live-check of election-related misinformation and disinformation spreading online and on television on Election Day.
CLAIM: Katsina State Police Command arrested party agents for attempting to hack into INEC server
THE FINDINGS: The spokesperson of Katsina Police Command, Gambo Isah, when contacted, confirmed the arrest of some party agents. He, however, stated that after an in-depth investigation, it was discovered that the intention of the political party involved was to set up a situation room, using an application software and not to hack INEC servers. He also confirmed the same in a press release.
SOURCE: Katsina State Police Command.
CLAIM: A video showing electoral violence in Nigeria’s 2023 elections has gone viral on social media.
THE FINDINGS: The video was shot in Ghana during a military drill ahead of the country’s 2020 general election.
The latest version of the video the NFC found on social media was dated December 2020. It was also found here.
A Ghana-based news outlet, Thedistin, also published the video in November 2020.
SOURCE: The Distin, Instagram, Twitter.
CLAIM: Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the Labour Party governorship candidate in Lagos State, said over six million new permanent voter cards were collected in the state.
THE FINDINGS: Voter card collection data published by the Independent National Electoral Commission shows this is incorrect.
The INEC’s data released on February 23, 2023, shows the total number of previously and newly collected voter cards in Lagos is 6.2 million. If Rhodes-Vivour had referred to both old and new, he would have been correct.
CLAIM: A blog site, litepawa.org published a report on how Ganduje’s supporters attacked the supporters of Kwankwaso in Kano State.
Abdullahi Ganduje is the Governor of Kano, while Rabiu Kwankwaso is a former Governor of the state and currently a presidential candidate under the NNPP
THE FINDINGS: Aside from the fact that the blog site lacks all the qualities of a reliable news organization, like an about us page or contact us, the link to the alleged video that depicts the bloody clash was merely a link to an advert.
Additionally, there is no report elsewhere that hints on the acclaimed bloody clash in Kano.
CLAIM: A Twitter user, (@Naija_PR) claims the Labour Party (LP) logo is missing on the ballot papers sent to Ondo State.
THE FINDINGS: The pictures of the alleged ballot papers the claimant shared were from 2015.
However, a report published by Punch Newspaper confirmed the omission of the LP logo on ballot papers sent to Ondo State to be true but only affected that of the Senate and House of Representatives.
VERDICT: MOSTLY CORRECT
SOURCE: Punch Newspaper
CLAIM: A graphic circulating on election morning claims the People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has withdrawn from the presidential race and declared his support for Labour Party’s candidate, Peter Obi.
THE FINDING: The claim is not supported by any evidence.
Such a major development would have been widely reported by local and international media, but no credible media has reported such.
Abubakar voted in his home state, Adamawa, north-east Nigeria, at about 9 a.m. and told journalists he is confident of winning the election.
In a phone call, Paul Ibe, Atiku’s media aide, also debunked the claim.
SOURCES: Multiple news sources, Atiku’s media aide.
CLAIM: A viral audio clip purports the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, his running mate Ifeanyi Okowa, and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, are plotting to rig the general election.
THE FINDINGS: An analysis of the audio note shows that the voices of the trio were cut from previously recorded speeches and joined to create the recording of the conversation. The audio has been doctored; hence it is fake.
CLAIM: A viral SMS claims voters can locate their polling units by sending their PVC 9-digit codes to 8014.
THE FINDINGS: Our findings show this to be false.
The Commissioner for Information and Voter Education at INEC, Festus Okoye, has also clarified that the alleged code is not from the Commission.
He advised voters to stick to the official contact information released by the INEC.
SOURCE: Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
CLAIM: Twitter users claim the Accord party has merged with Labour Party (LP).
THE FINDINGS: The National Chairman of the Accord Party, Issac Adeniyi, confirmed to the Nigerian Fact-checkers Coalition (NFC) that the party has merged with Labour Party and has declared its support for the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
SOURCE: Accord Party’s national chairman.
CLAIM: Some social media users claim the Boko Haram terrorist group has taken over INEC offices in Kaduna and Kano states.
THE FINDINGS: The images attached to the posts are old and are from unrelated incidents in the past. One of them is as old as 2016.
The spokesperson of the Kaduna State Police Command, Mohammed Jalige, debunked the report noting that the INEC office has not been and was not under any form of attack.
Also, the Kano state police spokesperson, Haruna Abdulahi, said it is a fake report.
SOURCES: Kano State Police Command, Kaduna State Police Command.
CLAIM: The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has withdrawn from the race and has asked his supporters to vote for Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
THE FINDINGS: The chief spokesperson of the Labour Party’s Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, has debunked the viral claim in a press conference.
He said Obi is still in the race. Also, a search on the official Twitter handle of the LP presidential candidate showed he is still contesting as he urged his supporters to cast their votes in his favour.
SOURCE: Yunusa Tanko
*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, Lateef Sanni (Dubawa); Catherine Adeniyi, Motunrayo Joel, Allwell Okpi, Seyi Awojuyigbe, Fatimah Abubakar, Abisola Olasupo (Africa Check); Rejoice Ewodage, Hannah Ajakaiye (FactsMatterNG), 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).