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CDD Slams NBC for Fining Trust TV, Others

By News, Press ReleaseOne Comment

PRESS STATEMENT

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has condemned the imposition of the N5 million fine slammed on Trust Television and other media organisations by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for airing documentaries that exposed terrorists and their activities.

Idayat Hassan

Trust TV is owned by Media Trust Group, a multimedia company that also publishes Daily Trust newspapers and other titles.

Also similarly fined by the NBC are Multichoice Nigeria Limited, owners of DSTV, TelCom Satellite Limited (TSTV) and NTA-Startimes Limited, for broadcasting a documentary by the British Broadcasting Commission (BBC) Africa Eye titled ‘Bandits Warlords Of Zamfara.’

But the CDD, in a statement on Saturday by her Director, Idayat Hassan, described the imposition of the fine as obnoxious, oppressive and suppressive, asking the commission to withdraw it immediately.

According to her, the fine is a reprehensible attempt to gag the media and infringe on citizens’ rights to free speech and information.

The statement reads: “We condemn, in the strongest terms, the imposition of the fine on Trust Television and other media outlets by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

“We are particularly alarmed at the speed with which took action without giving the affected media outlets time to respond and defend themselves.

“As the partner who supported Trust TV in producing the documentary, we unapologetically emphasise that the documentary was done and aired in the public interest. The documentary was based on years of field research, representing all affected communities and proffered pathways to ending the conflict. The calibre of persons featured in the documentary and those who attended the screenings, followed by a panel discussion, only speaks to our genuine interest in finding solutions to the conflict.

“As the country approaches the 2023 general elections, we urge the Federal Government to avoid doing anything that will threaten the media landscape or infringe on the citizens’ right to free speech and the right to know.

“We are shocked to see how the National Broadcasting Commission violated its procedures by not giving the affected media organisations the right to a fair hearing and acting without receiving any written complaints from anybody as required by its law.

“As a regulator, we expect the NBC to act independently and professionally without succumbing to political pressure.”

Signed

Idayat Hassan

Overview of Key Issues in the Pre-Election Period for the July 16, 2022 Osun State
Governorship Election

By Election, NewsNo Comments


Introduction
The second of two off-cycle governorship elections for 2022 will be conducted by the
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Osun State, on July 16, 2022. The
election is the seventh in the state since the return of the current democratic dispensation in 1999 following a Court of Appeal verdict, on 26 November 2010, Osun’s elections moved
from the general election cycle to an off-cycle polls. Rauf Aregbesola served two terms (2010 – 2018), and was succeeded by Gboyega Oyetola, who now seeks a second term as governor.


The July 2022 Osun State gubernatorial elections will be the second to be conducted under
the amended Electoral Act, 2022. There are 1,955,657 registered voters for the coming
elections, which is a vast increase from the 1,246,915 voters that decided the 2018 elections
and records a 36% increase in voters registered. Voters in Osun State go to the polls for Saturday’s governorship elections to either re-elect an incumbent governor, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) or change control of the state to any of the fifteen opposition parties, led by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who produced a former governor of the state (2003 – 2010). However, a major
difference in this election is the strength of third party candidates and the possible impact it
might have on the electoral results. In 2018, the Social Democratic Party, represented by
Iyiola Omisore, was a prominent candidate and won several Local Governments in the
populous Ife area. Omisore has since moved to the APC and, as a result, the CDD EAC
observes that of the other party candidates, none is able to command a significant level of
support to avoid an APC or PDP win. The CDD-EAC notes that there are 15 political parties
fielding candidates for the election. None of the governorship candidates and six of the
deputy governorship candidates are women, just as the age range of the candidates indicates a
low participation of the youth.


Following on from a successful exercise during the June 2022 Ekiti State governorship
elections, the CDD-EAC will be closely observing the electoral process with the objective of
collecting data to support evidence-based analysis of key aspects of the Osun State
governorship election. Similarly, the CDD-EAC will also host a fake news hub for the
purpose of tracking and countering fake news and misinformation as it affects the election.
Pre-Election Observations Based on the observation of the CDD EAC in the pre-election period, the following are the key trends, which will play a major role in the successful conduct of the polls:


Review of INEC’s Preparedness
Voter turnout will affect the legitimacy and acceptance of the Osun 2022 elections. As at 10
July 2022, INEC reported that only 1,479,595 million of the 1,955,657 registered voters had
collected their permanent voters cards (PVC). This equates to 76% of voters registered and
the low number led to INEC extending the deadline for collecting PVCS to 14 July – two
days before the elections. INEC’s preparations for the election extends to the resources
deployed and areas outlined for the election. 5,305 BVAS machines have been deployed to
cover 3,763 polling units across the 30 Local Governments in the state. The CDD-EAC will
observe if the number is sufficient to ensure that voting is carried out efficiently and if any
technical difficulty is dealt with promptly. The CDD-EAC also notes that because of the
increased size, number of polling units, LGAs and registered voters, the Osun elections
provides a sterner test of INEC’s capacity, when compared to the June 2022 Ekiti
governorship elections.


Finally, the CDD-EAC notes the need for a re-run in the 2018 Governorship elections. This
incident led to some concerns about the result because of the PDP candidate’s defeat, after
leading the first day of the poll and the small margin between the two candidates. Ahead of
the 2023 elections, the CDD-EAC hopes that the conduct of the Osun governorship election
will raise no doubts of INEC’s ability to conduct free, fair and credible elections.
Use of Technology by INEC.


The CDD-EAC notes that the 16 July 2022 Osun State Governorship election is significant
because it will be the last preliminary election as the INEC prepares for the 2023 general
elections. The election also reaffirms precedence that has been set under the Electoral Act
2022 concerning guidelines and regulations for the conduct of elections. The CDD-EAC
commended the progress recorded during the Ekiti elections by INEC and election
stakeholders. Highlighted areas include the high rate of officials arriving at polling units on
time and the high usage of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) – which resulted
in quick accreditation numbers and brief issues in relation to the review of issues raised. This
led to the prompt release of results via the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV). However,
Ekiti’s elections were still marred by incidents of vote buying, violence and a few instances
where voters were allowed to cast their votes without being authenticated by the BVAS. The
CDD-EAC remarks that consolidating on the progress made, and addressing the areas for
improvement, will be key for the credibility of the process.


Emphasis of zoning over issues
The CDD-EAC is concerned about the lack of an issue-based campaign by the major
candidates. In the build up to the 2022 elections, a major area of consideration is zoning –
since 1999, both Osun Central and Osun East senatorial zones have produced governors,
while Osun West has not done so. The PDP candidate, Adeleke, is from the Osun West zone
has based a campaign on representation via this zoning principle.


Incidents of Violence and Insecurity
The CDD-EAC also expresses worry about recent instances of violence, such as the report
that gun men recently attacked the home of the Labour Party’s candidate, Yusuf Sulaimon
Lasun. The home of the Accord Party candidate, Akin Ogunbiyi, was set on fire and the PDP
has reported that police officers arrested some of their members without cause in Osogbo, as
well as in Ije-Ijesha and Etioni in Ori Ade and Atakumosa Local Government Areas
in Osun state signed a Peace Accord on the 13th of July 2022, there is need for a proper
security analysis that will map out hotspots of violence. This is pertinent as the state is
notorious for cultism and street gangs that can easily be appropriated for violence especially
during the ongoing ASUU strike. With current security realities, the Osun election will
require a greater deployment of security personnel. It is hoped that the recent signing of the
peace accords by the governorship candidates will ensure that their supporters refrain from
violent activities regardless of the result of the polls.


Impact of National Politicians
The Osun election is not just the last dress rehearsal before the 2023 general election but also
hosts a number of national figures that can influence the conduct and outcome of the election.
The presidential candidate of the ruling APC, Bola Tinubu, is from the South-West
geopolitical zone, while the former interim national chair of the party, Bisi Akande, is a
former governor of the state. Likewise, the PDP has shown more interest in the Osun
election, when compared to the Ekiti governorship polls. Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, the national chair
and Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate alongside other PDP governors have attended
rallies in Osun. This has raised fears that there might be an increase in vote-buying and the
use of security forces to intimidate the opposition and voters.


Voter Inducement
Despite the 2022 Electoral Act, the spate of vote-buying has not reduced. This was evident in
the Ekiti governorship election and likely to be worse in the Osun gubernatorial election. In
2018, three men were arrested for vote-buying by police officers and the International Centre
for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) recorded instances of PDP agents partaking in such
activities. CDD-EAC observers during the June 2022 Ekiti Governorship Elections noted
several instances of vote buying and calls for stronger monitoring by INEC.


Fake News and Misinformation
An increasing aspect of concern is the prevalence of fake news, misinformation and
inflammatory rhetoric. These issues can lead to incidents of violence and reduced voter
turnout depending on the impact. An instance during the June 2022 Ekiti Governorship
Election was the report that a frontline candidate had withdrawn and endorsed another. While
CSOs and the CDD strived to circulate the fact that this was not the case, the impact on votes
cannot be ascertained. The CDD-EAC has deployed resources to track any instance of fake
news so that prompt verification can be carried out as necessary.


Lastly, the CDD-EAC hopes that all critical stakeholders in the election process, from INEC
to traditional leaders and relevant security agencies, work together to ensure a credible
election in Osun. CDD-EAC observers will be on ground to provide real-time information
and data that will inform subsequent reports respectively. Although 13 of the 15 political parties participating in the gubernatorial election

PRESS STATEMENT TO COMMEMORATE THE AFRICAN UNION ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY

By Blog, Conflict, News, PublicationsNo Comments

THEME: “STRATEGIES AND MECHANISMS FOR THE TRANSPARENT

MANAGEMENT OF COVID-19 FUNDS”

The Centre for Democracy and development is pleased to join the Africa Union and its
esteemed governments, as well as other stakeholders in commemorating this year’s African
Union Anti-corruption Day, slated for 11th July 2022. The theme “Strategies and Mechanisms
for the Transparent Management of Covid-19 Funds” is not only apt, but very important at
this time as it seeks to draw global and continental attention to the need to address a
disturbing corruption problem associated with Covid-19 pandemic which severely tasked
many economies and brought social and even political dislocations in Africa.
CDD commends all African countries that have signed and ratified the African Union
Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC) which was adopted in
Maputo, Mozambique on 11 July 2003 and came into force in 2006. CDD also commends the
countries that have enacted laws and created independent anti-corruption agencies to tackle
corruption.


Corruption is still an unnerving problem in Africa and indeed the major cause of
underdevelopment. CDD urges all states to work towards complying with the provisions of
the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC) and
indeed other similar multilateral instruments such as the UNCAC as well as relevant
international resolutions. There is also an urgent need for member states to collectively take
steps to diligently implement the recommendations of the Mbeki report on Illicit financial
flows which found that the African continent suffers an annual loss of over $50 billion as of
2015 through illicit financial flows (IFFs). That figure has since risen to over $80 billion. It is
pertinent to note that through corruption and mismanagement, some of the Covid-19 funds in
Africa may have become a source of illicit financial flows to countries in the North.


It also remains concerning that national and continental transparency initiative and efforts to
stem the unbridled illicit financial flows from Africa to the Northern hemisphere has been
embroiled in complex international politics. While noting that the problem of illicit financial
flows cannot be solved post-haste, Africa must continue to stand together and push for a
world order that discourages resource and trade price manipulation structured to fritter
resources from Africa and keep the continent perpetually undeveloped. Corruption and illicit
financial flows are twin evils which continue to constrain Africa’s progress and development.
Regrettably, the utilization of Covid-19 funds has also become a major source of Africa’s
corruption conundrum.

Read full document below

FACT CHECK: Has Zulum Been Picked as Tinubu’s Running Mate?

By Fact Check, Fake News, NewsNo Comments

Claim: An image of APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, raising the hand of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has led to rumours that Zulum has been picked as the vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress.

Verdict: False

Context: After winning the June 2022 APC presidential primaries, Bola Tinubu submitted Kabiru Masari as a placeholder running mate to beat the INEC deadline for registration of running mates. However, he has till July 15 to substitute the name and has been in negotiations with party officials to determine who he will tap to run with him. As a southerner, it is expected he will field a northern running mate, but there has been speculation and concern about picking a fellow Muslim.

Verification: During a recent event to mark the birthday celebration of Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Tinubu confirmed he was still searching for a running mate while celebrating the relationship between the Speaker and his deputy. Furthermore, no official statement has been made on either the candidate or the party’s social media platforms. Finally, the Borno APC chapter has also not commenced work on substituting Zulum as their governorship candidate.

Why We Checked This: Religious tensions have long led to incidents of violence in the country. The possible selection of Zulum could lead to issues in other Northern regions, either by aggrieved leaders or communities. It is also important that false information is curtailed in the lead up to the 2023 general elections.    

FACT CHECK: Has Nyesom Wike Defected to the Labour Party?

By 2023 Elections, Election, Fact Check, NewsNo Comments

Claim: Rivers State Governor, and runner-up at the recently concluded PDP presidential primaries, Nyesom Wike has defected to the Labour party in support of its nominee, Peter Obi

Verdict: False

Context: SaharaNews, an online publication, reported that Wike had moved to support fellow southern presidential candidate Peter Obi. Interestingly, Obi had notably also left the PDP before the primaries.

Verification: Our partners at Daily Trust have uncovered that not only is the headline false, but the video attached was an old clip of Wike. The original video was also muted for some minutes and a background voice was heard endorsing Peter Obi and ridiculing other candidates and politicians. The voice also mentioned that Wike is angry.

Why We Checked This: Recently, during the June 2022 Ekiti State Governorship election, a viral post stated that the SDP candidate, Segun Oni, had stepped down to endorse the PDP candidate, Bisi Kolawole. We worked with other CSOs to debunk this news but, as it was on the eve of the elections, we cannot ascertain if this affected the decision of voters during the polls.

FACT CHECK: Has Peter Obi’s Movement Become Spiritual?

By Election, Fact Check, Fake News, NewsNo Comments

VERDICT: Misleading False Alarm

CLAIM: A Tweep, had tweeted via @Nkemchor_, “Mbaka attacked Peter Obi and lost his Adoration Ground Wike attacked Peter Obi and lost the Primaries Ike Ekweremadu attacked Peter Obi and got arrested for Organ Trafficking in the Uk. It seems this Peter Obi movement has become spiritual.”

FACT CHECKING PROCESS: Preliminary findings show that the tweet which was made in the afternoon of June 23, 2022 had garnered 3,991 retweeets, 244 Quote tweets and over 11,000 likes as at June 27, 2022.

Few days ago, the spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka had without mincing words, declared that the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi would never smell the seat of the President.

A stingy man, that cannot give people his money, with this hunger ravaging the land, and you are saying he is the one you want. Do you want to die of hunger? Are you people insane? Where is the Holy Spirit? Mbaka opined.

In May, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Presidential Aspirant and Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, had said while appearing on a programme on Channels Television that the former Anambra State governor, lacks integrity and that he left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because he knew he would not win the presidential ticket.

So, when we talk of character and integrity, it is an issue. You can be the best economist, but you don’t have character, no integrity. Governor Wike stated.

On his part, former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu said that the South-East region will not vote for Peter Obi in the 2023 presidential election. Shortly after the governor of Delta State, Patrick Okowa was announced as Atiku’s running mate, a video trended in which Ekweremadu said, I assure you that South-East will vote for the People Democratic Party (PDP). I can guarantee that. No doubt Peter Obi is our son, but you need to be dynamic. You need to ask yourself, can Peter win the presidential election? Can the East afford to throw away their votes? Can we afford to be sentimental in matters that concern our people, our children, and our future? No. Senator Ekweremadu quoted.

peter obi's movement become spiritual

CONCLUSION: Despite the evidence above, while it is true that Senator Ekweremadu was arrested in the UK, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, whose parish was suspended on the directives of Bishop Callistus Onaga, returned to the Adoration Ground to address the Adorers, Vanguard confirmed. And Governor Wike, who contested in the PDP’s primary election did not lose the contest because of the comments on Peter Obi. Many political pundits praised the gallant role of the Rivers Governor in that race. All claims by the individual cannot be substantiated as several factors came to play on all occasions bothering the three personalities mentioned.

Five Things to Know About Biodun Oyebanji, Ekiti Governor-Elect

By Blog, Election, Fact Check, Fact Checks, NewsNo Comments

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Biodun Oyebanji, has been declared the winner of Saturday’s Ekiti governorship election.

Declaring the winner, Prof. Oyebode Adebowale, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returning officer, said Oyebanji polled a total of 187,057 votes to win the election.

He said Oyebanji had certified the requirement of the law and was, therefore, declared the winner.

“That I, Prof. Oyebode Adebowale, hereby certified that I am the returning officer of the Ekiti 2022 Governorship Election held on June 18.

“That Biodun Oyebanji, the candidate of APC, having satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared the winner and returned,” Adebowale declared.

Here are fiv things to know about the governor-elect.

Birth

Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, fondly called BAO, is a politician and member of the All Progressives Congress, who was born on December 21, 1967 in Ikogosi-Ekiti, Ekiti State. He is 54.

Education

He earned a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) degree in Political Science from the Ondo State University (now Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti) in 1989 and continued his quest for honours at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State in 1992 where he bagged a Masters Degree (M.Sc) in Political Science (International Relations & Strategic Studies).

Former lecturer

Oyebanji started his professional career as a lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Ado Ekiti, where he worked for four years (1993 –1997) and later proceeded to work as the manager, Treasury, and Financial Services at the defunct Omega Bank Plc (now Heritage Bank) till May 1999.

Ex-Ekiti SSG

Until his decision to run as Governor of Ekiti, Oyebanji was the Secretary to the Ekiti State Government under incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi.

Family

He is married to Mrs Oyebanji, a princess in Ado Ekiti and associate professor at the University of Ibadan.

FACT CHECK: Enugu PDP Governorship Candidate Not Assasinated

By Blog, Election, Fact Check, NewsNo Comments

Verdict: False

Claim:

A video of about 2 minutes has been trending online with the posters claiming that the winner of the just concluded governorship primary in Enugu, Mr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, has been assassinated.

In the video, a man dressed in what looked like a police T-shirt and jean trousers lay lifeless on the road while another, dressed in traditional attire lay on the ground in a pool of blood, close to a Toyota Land Cruiser SUV which was riddled with bullets.

Verification Process:

Old video being circulated

An analysis of the video using InVid, a video verification tool, showed that the video first appeared on the July 7, 2021.

Further search on Google revealed that the video was shot at the scene where the Director General of the Scientific Equipment Development Institute (SEDI), Enugu, Professor Samuel Ndubuisi was assassinated.

As reported by mainstream media, Ndubuisi along with his police orderly were shot dead along the Centenary City Junction axis of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway on July 7, 2021.

Mbah debunks video

Reacting to the viral video, Mbah’s media office in a statement signed by Dan Nwome, described the report as false labelling, wicked and evil.

The statement titled, ‘Fake news on the assassination of Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah’ reads, “We have been inundated with calls over fake news in circulation on some social media platforms on the purported assassination of the Enugu State PDP governorship flagbearer, Peter Ndubuisi Mbah. The story is false, wicked and evil.

“Our investigations indicate that the story was doctored from the video of the unfortunate gruesome assassination of one Dr. Ndubuisi (real name: Professor Samuel Ndubuisi), the Director-General of the Science and Equipment Development Institute (SEDI), along the Enugu Port Harcourt expressway, two years ago.

“It is the mere coincidence of “Ndubuisi” in the two names that has been twisted by some devious and malevolent characters to spread unfounded panic and alarm amongst our genuinely concerned teeming supporters and well-wishers in Enugu State and beyond.

“We condemn this wicked, ill-conceived misinformation and urge the masterminds to play politics of moderation and sportsmanship, have the fear of God and develop respect for the sanctity of human life.”

Conclusion:

Relying on available evidence, Daily Trust can confirm that the video in circulation is an old one and is in no way connected with the Enugu governorship candidate as claimed.

FACT CHECK: Did Lamido, Daughter, Son Win PDP Primaries?

By Blog, Constitution, Fact Check, Fact Checks, NewsNo Comments

Verdict: False

Claim:

A viral post suggesting that a former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, his daughter and son contested and won Senate, governorship and House of representatives seats.

A version of the well circulated post reads:
“✓Sule Lamido won for Senate.
✓His son won for Governor and
✓His daughter won for Rep.
✓All under PDP in Jigawa state.
✓If this is Tinubu, some people will visit UN headquarters to submit petition of threat to democracy,”

The post has generated several reactions from Nigerians.

Reacting to the post on his Facebook handle, one Engr. Hameed Olalekan wondered why people complained bitterly about Tinubu whose wife, Oluremi, is a senator.

“Lamido and Sons Nigeria Ltd,” another Facebook user, Hauwa Ahmadu, wrote.

A Twitter user, Kemi Biodun lamented saying, “Greedy fellows and tomorrow they will be complaining about Tinubu.”

One Qudus, @Qdpaper2, also tweeted that Lamido, his son and daughter contested and won PDP primaries.

He stated, “Sule Lamido is contesting for Senate, his son Mustapha Lamido is contesting for governor, his daughter is contesting for House of Representatives.

“All of them won their primaries. Family business! Change the name to Tinubu and see the reaction of online mob.”

Verfication Process:

Checks by Daily Trust has shown that neither Lamido nor his daughter contested any elective position in Jigawa State.

However, at the recently concluded primary of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, the governor’s son, Mustapha Lamido, won the PDP governorship ticket.

Mustapha defeated his challenger, Sale Shehu, a former junior Minister for Works, polling all the 829 votes cast.

Mustapha expressed joy at the victory.

“I most sincerely accept this nomination with humility, modesty and determination,” he said.

He also described the congress as historic.

“As we move to the next stage of campaign and elections, I ask you to trust me, work with me, campaign with me and vote for me so that we can make the state great again. And I count on you to come out massively to vote for PDP.

“I urge all of us to avoid politics of division and disunity. The interest of the state is far and above any personal or sectional interest.

“To our traditional rulers and elders, I have great respect for them and will consult them regularly on issues that will assist in moving the state forward. I pledge to campaign peacefully, but vigorously, I therefore as for your support and prayers,” he said.

Daily Fact Check

Conclusion

The claim that former governor Sule Lamido, his daughter and and son contested and won the PDP tickets is misleading as only his son contested and won the PDP governorship ticket.

FACT CHECK: Algeria Central Bank Governor, NOT Emefiele, Was Sacked

By Fact Check, Fake News, NewsNo Comments

Verdict: False

Claim:

A report that Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has been sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari trended on social media and blogs on Wednesday.

Verification Process:

Though the Head, Corporate Communications at CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, had described the reported sack of Emefiele as “a mere rumour,” checks by Daily Trust showed that the rumour might have stemmed from what happened in Algeria.

Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, on Monday sacked the country’s Central Bank Chief, Rostom Fadli, who was in office for less than two years.

His sacking was announced by the presidency without giving any further explanation.

Tebboune “on Monday ended the functions of the Governor of the Bank of Algeria, Mr. Rostom Fadli, and appointed Mr. Salah Eddine Taleb to replace him.”

Fadli had assumed office in June 2020 as interim head of the central bank of Africa’s fourth-biggest economy.

The chances are that the mention of Algeria Central Bank was misconstrued as Nigeria’s, especially in light of the recent controversies surrounding CBN Governor, Emefiele.

Many people, including Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, had called for Emefiele’s sacking after a Fulani group reportedly obtained N100 million presidential forms for him.

Daily Fact Check

Conclusion:

Emefiele’s sacking by President Buhari is false news which likely stemmed from a misinterpretation or a twist of Algerian Central Bank governor’s dismissal.

FAKE NEWS IN WEST AFRICA – FLOWS, FACILITATORS AND FIXES

By Blog, Election, Fact Check, Fake News, Human Rights, News, PublicationNo Comments

The spread of falsehoods across information ecosystems in West Africa is growing. Although enabled by increasing access to social media and the internet across the region, the flow of fake news is not simply confined to online spaces but moves between offline and digital environments with regularity and ease. A rumour that is started by an online influencer on Facebook, once trending, can become a topic of debate and discussion for television or radio talk shows, broadening its audience. These debates, in turn, are then discussed and debated in gathering spots such as markets, atayah bases, okada stages or grins enabling them to disseminate through well-established word of mouth rumour networks. Completing the circle, these offline rumours can then be transposed back online and can either be further skewed to disinform or simply reinforce an already circulating falsehood.

The way information flows between online and offline networks is critical for understanding how fake news spreads and influences actions across West Africa. So
too is trust. Information that a recipient deems to be from a trustworthy source – be that the original source of the information or the individual who last shared it – remains fundamental to decisions about what is true and what is not, along with whether the information aligns with existing beliefs and biases. These factors are increasingly well understood by those involved in the
purposeful spreading of falsehoods online across West Africa particularly on issues relating to politics and health.

This report draws on the findings of 15 studies undertaken in 2021 covering all members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Information was gathered through desk-based research, key informant interviews, focus group discussions and the authors’ experiences of using social media platforms. This regional report draws out some of the key trends from those studies. It highlights the individuals or organizations involved in the spread of falsehoods, the tactics they seek to employ, and the influence and impact that they are having. It then draws attention to the range of approaches adopted so far to respond to the ‘fake news’ threat. It concludes by offering recommendations to key stakeholders about what more can — and should — be done.

Read the full article below

Is Nigeria’s Economy in Better Shape than in 2015 as Claimed by President Buhari?

By 2023 Elections, Blog, Constitution, Fact Check, Fake News, Food for thought, News, PublicationsNo Comments

Verdict: FALSE

CLAIM:

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in an exclusive interview with international news outfit Bloomberg  said his administration will be leaving Nigeria in better shape than it met it in 2015. The president also stated that he is leaving Nigeria’s economy better than he met it in 2015 when he assumed office.

According to the president, “We leave Nigeria in a far better place than we found it. Corruption is less hidden, for Nigerians feel empowered to report it without fear, while money is returned; terrorists no longer hold any territory in Nigeria, and their leaders are deceased; and vast infrastructure development sets the country on course for sustainable and equitable growth.”  

Verification Process:

Although the President made extensive comments on different sectors, CDD/Daily Trust verified his claim on the economy, and found out that what the president said were largely false.

Verifying the president’s claim, Daily Trust analysed key economic indices which meet the World Bank’s criteria to ascertain whether an economy is performing or not. These criteria include inflation, debt level, exchange rate, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment rate and distribution of natural resources.

Inflation

Nigeria’s inflation rate in 2015 was a single digit of 9.01 per cent. A breakdown of inflation figures year on year showed that inflation rate at the end of 2015 was 9.01 per cent. In 2016 at the thick of the recession, it skyrocketed to 15.68 per cent. In 2017, it further moved up to 16.52 per cent. It however slowed to 12.09 per cent in 2018 and later 11.40 in 2019.

It again rose to 15.75 per cent in December 2020 which is the highest recorded in the past three years.

In 2021, inflation rate rose for the first time in eight months to 15.63 per cent, the reason attributed to the high yuletide spending.

Subsequently, the latest Consumer Price Index report by the National Bureau of Statistics indicated that Nigeria’s inflation rose to 15.7 per cent in February from 15.6 per cent in January.

Inflation rose to its highest level since 2017, rising from 16.82% recorded in April 2022 to 17.71% in May, according to the recently released Consumer Price Index report, by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Debt

On debt level, as of 2015 before President Buhari took over power, Nigeria’s debt revenue stood at N8.8 trillion, according to the Debt Management Office

However, recent statistics from the DMO showed that Nigeria’s debt skyrocketed from N8.8 trillion in 2015 to N41 trillion as at June 2022. This represents an increment of over 500 per cent,

The country’s debt rose from N39.56 trillion in December 2021 to N41.60 trillion in the first three months of 2022 alone.

Fuel prices

In the same vein, checks by CDD/Daily Trust show that fuel price at the Buhari government’s inception stood at N87 per litre. As at May 2016, it had moved from N145 per litre representing a 66 per cent increase.

In 2020, it was further reviewed upwards to N162 per litre. The same year, the product sold for between N165 per litre and N220 per litre at the fueling stations. This was further compounded by the unavailability of the product with the major oil marketers saying they could not continue selling fuel at N165 per litre.

Exchange rate

In 2015 when President Buhari assumed office, the dollar was exchanging at N198/$ in the parallel market. By 2018, it was N306 to the dollar, and in 2019 it went up to N360 to the dollar and eventually exchanged at N520 in 2021.

From 2021 till date, the dollar at the parallel market is exchanging for between N600 to N610 as a result of the recently concluded party primaries where delegates were said to have been bribed with dollars.

Unemployment

Nigeria’s unemployment rate at the last quarter of 2015 stood at 10.4 per cent according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The figure went up to 14.2 per cent at the end of 2016. At the end of 2017, it moved up to 20.42 per cent. It moved up to 23.1 per cent in 2018 and the latest figures from the NBS indicate that unemployment rate now stands at 33.3 per cent.

Gross Domestic Product

A breakdown of the GDP figures from the National Bureau of Statistics and the World Bank from 2015 to 2020 shows that Nigeria’s GDP in 2015 when President Buhari assumed office stood at $486 billion; it declined to $404 billion when the country slipped into recession.

In 2017, GDP figures further declined to $375 billion. However in 2018, as the economy began to recover, the figures improved to $397 billion. In 2019, the figure surged to $448 billion.

By 2020, in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic which affected virtually every sector of the world economy, Nigeria’s GDP figures declined to $432 billion.

The GDP figures were estimated to have risen to $440 billion in 2021, with 3.98% growth of the economy even though official figures by the World Bank are still being expected.

Conclusion:

Verifying the key economic parameters that determine if an economy is in a good shape, checks by CDD/Daily Trust show that the key economic indices as at 2015 were better than what is obtainable currently. As such, the claim by President Buhari that he is leaving a better economy for Nigerians is FALSE.

FACT CHECK: INEC Doesn’t Operate Voter Registration Centers in Niger Republic

By Blog, Election, Fact Check, News, VoteNo Comments

Verdict: False

CLAIM:

A Facebook user, @Emmanuel Onwubiko, made a post alleging that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) operates voter registration points in Niger Republic.

Full Text: “Rather than talk anyhow, can we investigate the claim that INEC is currently operating voter registration points in Niger Republic. Is this rocket science?”

Under the comment section, another Facebook user, Fami Ajala also commented by saying “It is alleged that there are about 21 INEC offices operating in Niger Republic.”

Similarly a Twitter user, Nche Nwanbunike had also posted that INEC was having 21 voter registration units in the neighbouring Niger Republic and also blaming the nation’s media for being silent on the matter.

Verification Process

In verifying the claim, CDD/Daily Trust went through the websites INEC to find out if registration centers were extended to Niger Republic, but found out that all the registration points are domiciled in the 36 states of the country including the federal capital territory.

CDD/Daily Trust further reached out to the electoral body to verify the claim. Subsequently, INEC described the social media post that the commission has ‘21 INEC registration centres in Niger Republic as false and unsubstantiated.

Mr. Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, simply told Us that “such post and similar falsehoods should be ignored.”

Oyekanmi, said, “The post was an unsubstantiated allegation made by a Twitter user, Nche Nwanbunike. The person who made such post should be asked to prove it.”

There has been calls for INEC to extend the June 30 deadline for the continuous voter registration (CVR) amidst a court ruling asking INEC not to close the CVR registration.

CDD/Daily Trust reports that ahead of the 2023 general elections, there is a growing interest among Nigerians to obtain Permanent Voter Cards.

Conclusion

After thorough investigation, we can confirm that there are no polling units in Niger Republic and the claims should be ignored.

THREATS TO STATE INTEGRITY AND SOCIAL COHESION IN NIGERIA

By Blog, Cohesion, Event, Fact Checks, General, Human Rights, News, Publication, RescueNo Comments

Nigeria is confronting a number of critical political and security challenges that are raising serious questions about its identity and survival as a democratic federal republic. First, there is a dramatic breakdown in security that has created a climate of disillusion in the state as a protector of citizens.

Threat to State Integrity

Secondly, there is a breakdown of social cohesion in Nigeria with stress lines emerging at the levels of the family, community and state.

Thirdly, there is a significant rise and expansion religious, fueled in part by disinformation and hate speech that circulates across traditional and social media. Fourthly, there is frustration about the country’s political and economic direction, with citizens believing the system is stymied by a reckless political class that is corrupt, self-serving and manipulative. Finally, Nigeria’s elite consensus on federalism and the federal character principle as a guarantee against group discrimination and marginalization is badly shaken.

INSECURITY IN NIGERIA

The state of insecurity in Nigeria has reached unprecedented levels. On a daily basis, well coordinated
commando-like operations by gunmen are organized against rural communities where people are kidnapped for ransom, houses burnt, and property looted. Similar attacks are also conducted against the army and
police. These attacks are now occurring in virtually all geopolitical zones in the country. According to Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state, there are no fewer than 30,000 gunmen spread across more than 100 camps in and around his state alone. These bandits collected N970 million as ransom from the families of their kidnap victims – over 1,100 – in the eight years between 2011 and 2019. During the same period, they killed 2,619 people.

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FACT CHECK: Did Late Osinachi Family open a GoFundMe account?

By Blog, Election, Fact Check, Fact Checks, News, PublicationNo Comments

Verdict: False

Claim:

A viral message is currently trending on social media purporting to be a crowdfunding platform popularly known as GoFundMe to assist the family of late Gospel singer Osinachi Nwachukwu.

The GoFundMe account is said to have realized about N32 million as at the time of the fact check.

The aim of the crowdfunding was said to be for the purpose of raising money for the welfare of late Osinachi’s children.

Verification:

Daily Trust tried to verify the authenticity of the account and also to know if it was authorised by the family.

Subsequently, a statement made available to Daily Trust on behalf of the family by A. A. Paul, a lawyer, stated that the family did not authorise the crowd funding.

The family also called on Nigerians to discontinue donating to the account as it was not approved by the family.

Part of the statement reads: “We plead with the general public to please respect our privacy. We appreciate the public for their concern and love. All her children are being taken care of and we have not collected any 32 million from anybody nor are we stranded or begging the public in any form as regards to a certain GoFundMe account making rounds. Please everybody should be careful so that you don’t get scammed.

“The burial arrangement is in progress and we shall inform the general public once we have made full preparation. Please remember us in your prayers as we have seen how far the devil can go but in the name of Jesus we are victorious and the bible says that the steps of the righteous shines brighter and brighter unto a perfect day that is our assurance,”

Background:

Daily Trust reported the death of Osinachi Nwachukwu on April 8, 2022.

Few days after, there were revelations by family, friends and church members about the domestic abuse she had been allegedly subjected to by her husband

Subsequently, her husband Peter Nwachukwu, was arrested and later arraigned before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on a 23-count charge that bordered on culpable homicide.

He however, pleaded not guilty to all the allegations that were contained in the charge the Federal Government preferred against him.

Following Nwachukwu’s insistence of not being guilty, trial judge, Justice Njideka Nwosu-Iheme, in a short ruling, ordered his remand at the Kuje Correctional Centre, even as she adjourned the case till June 16 and 17 for trial.

The gospel musician came into fame with the hit gospel song, “Ekwueme”, which she paired with Prospa Ochimana.

Conclusion:

Checks by CDD/Daily Trust has shown that the GoFundMe account currently soliciting funds for the late Osinachi’s children was not authorized by the family, as such it is FAKE

FACT CHECK: Did High Court Nullify Ekiti APC Governorship Primary?

By Blog, Election, Fact Check, Fact Checks, Fake News, NewsNo Comments

Verdict: False

CLAIM:

A viral report claimed that the primary that produced Biodun Oyebanji as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Ekiti Governorship election holding this Saturday, 18 June, has been nullified by an Abuja High Court.

The rumor which was spread on social media and published by several blogs reads: “Less than 72 hours to the conduct of Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday nullified the All Progressives Congress primaries that produced its candidate in the poll, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji.

“The court cited irregularities in the conduct of the primaries conducted to nominate Oyebanji.”

Verification Process:

Daily Trust observed the two-paragraph report was reproduced across all platforms that published it.

Debunking the news, the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Segun Dupe, urged Ekiti people and party members to “disregard the rumour and discountenance it as the forlorn wish of some desperate politicians in the state, which cannot come to pass.”

He said, “The warped rumour is a demarketing gimmick of some desperate opposition who are unmindful of the fact that they are causing further damage to their zero chances at the poll, instead of enhancing it.

“…there were some cases filed by some disgruntled elements regarding the governorship primaries we organized in January this year, which saw to the emergence of Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji as the candidate of our party, but none has gone beyond the preliminary stage and all of them have been transferred back to Ekiti for hearing.

“No High Court is sitting on any matter regarding our primary in Abuja as at today. Furthermore, every matter relating to the primary has been adjourned till September this year. To the best of our knowledge, none is up for hearing at the moment.

“The only one perhaps is in the wildest imagination of our detractors, which cannot see the light of day. Our party remains focused on the coming election and sure of untainted victory at the end.”

The results of the primary announced by the Jigawa State Governor and Chairman of the Primary Election Committee, Mohammed Badaru, showed that Oyebanji, a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), defeated other aspirants to emerge winner of the election which held in January.

He polled 101,703 votes, while his closest challengers; Ojo Kayode had 767, Opeyemi Bamidele had 760 and Dayo Adeyeye polled 691 votes.

Conclusion:

Available facts have proven the purported nullification of the Ekiti State APC governorship primary to be false. Thus, the viral report is misleading.

FACT CHECK: Did INEC Officials Prevent Igbos From Registering for PVC in Lagos?

By Blog, Election, Fact Check, Fact Checks, Fake News, News, PublicaitonsNo Comments

Verdict: False

CLAIM:

A Facebook video was posted by one Umuchiukwu Writers with the caption “Igbos living in Lagos denied PVC registration by Federal Government. Only Biafra will save Biafrans.”

In the video, a voice was heard saying in Igbo that “We have not been allowed to register for PVC in Lagos and we have been here since 7am. INEC officials are only attending to those who speak in Yoruba and some Yoruba chiefs were present and allowing only Yorubas to register.”

Verification

It was obvious there was no queue nor did the video show any INEC official or Yoruba chiefs.

Daily Trust reached out to Umuchiukwu Writers to verify the authenticity of the video.

He said it was recorded “at Igbede and Ojo areas in the Ojo Local Government Areas of Lagos State on June 9, 2022.”

He however admitted that he was not present at the location.

“I received information from our Igbo brothers there,” he noted.

Meanwhile, in an interview with our correspondent, INEC National Electoral Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, denied that Igbo people were prevented from collecting PVCs.

He said, “The Commission and its officials will not engage in or tolerate any case of voter suppression. The commission has not received any official complaint of voter suppression other than the trending videos. Every Nigerian of registrable age living in any part of Nigeria is entitled to register.

“It’s a sovereign constitutional right. The CVR process has been on for 11 months. The present surge is a peculiar Nigerian 11th-hour syndrome.  We have deployed additional IVED, fingerprint scanners, and Thermal Printers to states of acute pressure.

“We are monitoring the CVR process and will explore all options and do whatever is necessary to assist Nigerians register.”

Conclusion

Daily Trust can confirm that the video posted does not have enough evidence to the claim that INEC officials and some Yoruba chiefs prevented Igbos from registering for PVCs.

FACT CHECK: Did APC Not Engage In Vote Buying As Ekiti Governor-Elect Claimed?

By Blog, Constitution, Election, Fact Check, Fact Checks, Fake News, General, News, Publicaitons, PublicationsNo Comments

VERDICT: FALSE

Claim:
The Ekiti State Governor-elect, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, has claimed that the All Progressives Congress did not engage in vote buying during the June 18, 2022 governorship election which held in the state.
Oyebanji made the claim on Monday while briefing State House correspondents after he was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by some party big-wigs led by the National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, following his victory in the Saturday poll.


He said that as far as he was concerned, his party did not buy votes, while adding that he did
not witness the development in the polling unit where he voted in Ikogosi, Ekiti West LGA.


The governor-elect said he won the election based on the performance of the outgoing
administration in which he played a prominent role.

Verification Process:

In a bid to ascertain the veracity of the claim, Daily Trust looked at several reports by independent and non-partisan Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the media who observed the election.

While some of the reports revealed in details the parties involved in voter inducement along with their locations and amounts involved, some others generally agreed to the fact that there was vote-buying across party lines.

According to the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) who was on the ground to observe the election, its observers documented 41 instances of vote buying and selling at polling units in LGAs like Ado-Ekiti, Ijero, Ikole Irepodun/Ifelodun, Ise/Orun and Moba.

The statement noted that one of the observable patterns of vote buying was the collection of cash in brown envelopes, which was apparently meant to disguise the content of the envelopes in order to avoid arrest by the anti-corruption agencies.

Also, in a post-election statement issued by another independent observer group, Yiaga Africa, vote buying was reported by its observers in ​​Alowodolu/Ojo – The Apostolic P.S Compound with PU code 13/09/04/00 in Ijero Ward D of Ijero LGA.

“Party agents from APC were reportedly sharing N7,000 to voters who showed how their ballot paper was marked. A similar report on vote-buying by APC was received from Open Space At Bamitale Along St. Mary’s Road in Ikere.

“Also, in Ogidi – in Ipoti Ward A, party agents from PDP and SDP were seen bribing voters. At ​​C. A. C. Gramm. Sch. / Ola Oluwa II with PU code 014 in Ado-Ekiti, APC party agent was also reportedly giving N5,000 to voters who confirmed they had voted for the party,” it stated.

Conclusion

Based on evidence contained in reports groups that observed the governorship election, it is not true that the APC didn’t engage in vote buying as claimed by Oyebanji.

Chukwuma-Soludo

Did Soludo Say Peter Obi’s $20m Investment Is Now Worth $100m? Claim:

By Blog, Constitution, Election, Fact Check, Fact Checks, Featured, General, latest, NewsNo Comments

Claim:

A Facebook user, @Lamentations of a Bishop, on Sunday posted a story alleging that the current Anambra State governor Mr. Charles Soludo, said that Mr. Peter Obi’s $20 million investment in Anambra is worth $100 million today.

Verdict: FALSE

Verification: While verifying this, Daily Trust went through the verified Facebook and Twitter handles of the governor to see if he made such claims but nothing was found.

Further checks by Daily Trust revealed that the governor had gone to the comment section of the post to debunk the claim.

On his verified Facebook page, @Charles Chukwuma Soludo, the Anambra governor’s reply reads: “Where did you read or hear me make such comments. This Fake News has been roundly debunked by my team. We can always carry on with the campaign for our preferred candidates without consciously misleading the reading public. The report is false and never emanated from me,” he said.

Background

Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra state is the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the forth coming presidential election.

Mr. Obi is regarded as one of the successful businessmen in Nigeria with franchise spread across the country.

He is also the former governor of Anambra state.

Conclusion: Following the rebuttal by the Anambra state governor, Daily Trust affirms the claim to be FALSE.

This Fact Check is done in collaboration with the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD)