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FACT CHECK: Did Policeman Bring Down Gunman During Owo Church Attack?

By UncategorizedNo Comments

A video has gone viral with the narrative that a brave policeman brought down a terrorist at Owo, Ondo State after a church was attacked on Sunday.

Church, Owo

In the 30-second video, one could see a man in a bright coloured long sleeved shirt fiddling with a rifle as if trying to pull the trigger.

After about 9 seconds, a man dressed in what looked like a police uniform ran into the man, causing both of them to fall to the ground.

The aftermath of the encounter witnessed several individuals beating up the ‘suspected terrorist’ with another carting away the rifle. Screams by other persons are evident in the background.

Verification

Preliminary investigations revealed that gunmen on Sunday, June 5, 2022, attacked the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owaluwa area of Owo, Ondo State, killing several worshippers during the church service, while many others were left injured.

It was learnt that the armed men struck around 11:15am, shooting sporadically into the church while some stationed themselves at the entrance of the church to prevent members of the congregation from escaping.

One of the priests of the church, Rev. Father Andrew Abayomi, explained that the gunmen operated for about 25 minutes, shooting into the church.

He said, “We were about to round off service. I had even asked people to start leaving, that was how we started hearing gunshots from different angles.

“We hid inside the church but some people had left when the attack happened. We locked ourselves in the church for 20 minutes. When we heard that they had left, we opened the church and rushed victims to the hospital.”

Some netizens on Twitter and nairaland had posted the video with the caption, “Brave policeman allegedly brings down one of the gunmen” which generated several reactions from other tweeps and members of the nairaland forum.

Many called out the posters of the video and labeling it as fake news Whe others claimed that the video originated in Togo a few days ago.

An in-depth key frame analysis of the video using InVid, a verification tool, returned a result. Running a reversed image search of the screenshot revealed that the video had been posted on Twitter precisely on June 3  two days before the Owo attack, by a user, Angelo Barnabo.

Though the caption was written in French, it was interpreted thus: “A hero, the bravery and promptness of this agent is to be saluted and encouraged. May he heal from the wounds and may the eternal grant him long life and promotion.”

Conclusion

Having established that the video was shot and posted on the internet days before the Owo attack, Daily Trust can reliably confirm that the video in circulation was not from the Owo incident.

However, the exact time and location of the now viral video has not been ascertained. The claim that a brave policeman brought down one of the gunmen during Owo attack is therefore false and misleading.

This fact check was produced in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).

FACT CHECK: Northern APC Governors didn’t meet Atiku after Tinubu’s Victory

By Election, Fact Check, UncategorizedOne Comment

CLAIM:

A video is currently circulating on social media especially WhatsApp, insinuating that northern governors of the All Progressive Congress visited the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday after APC presidential primary at Eagle Square.

Presidential Candidate Atiku Abubakar

The video was captioned “THE GAME JUST GET STARTED.”

The text further read, “APC Northern Governors and Senate President went to visit Alhaji Atiku Abubakar immediately after their APC Presidential Primaries this morning when Tinubu was declared the winner of APC Presidential Ticket

“Northern blood brothers remain, Northern blood brothers, thes people might handover a life snake to Tinubu. There are two things they are going to do to make sure the north retains power; they are either going to start decamping to PDP or remain in APC and work against Tinubu’s interest. North and power are cousins. You don’t trust them when it comes to that.”

VERDICT: FALSE

FACT:

However, Checks by Daily Trust revealed that the video was first taken in January this year during a condolence visit.

Using Invid, a video verification tool, Daily Trust established that the video first surfaced on the Internet on January 22, 2022, when Atiku paid a condolence visit to the family of Dahiru Mangal, a business magnate in Katsina who lost his 85-year-old mother.

The late Hajiya Murja Bara’u was the mother of Alhaji Dahiru Mangal who is the Chairman of Afdin Group, owners of Max Air, Afdin Petroleum, Afdin Construction, among others.

Also, Daily Trust traced a tweet by the former vice president on his Twitter handle @atiku where he confirmed the condolence visit on the same day.

The tweet read, “Earlier today (January 22), I paid a condolence visit to Alhaji Dahiru Mangal in Katsina over the loss of his beloved mother and matriarch of their family, Hajiya Murja Bara’u. I pray that Almighty Allah will comfort the family and grant her Aljannah Firdaus in Paradise.”

CONCLUSION

The video currently in circulation is an old video from a condolence visit by Atiku and some northern APC governors to the family of Alhaji Dahiru Mangal and the video is being recycled. As such, the claim in the video that northern governors met with Atiku after Tinubu’s victory at the APC primary is false and misleading.

cddfactcheck infographics

Alvana Ojukwu & Gender Equality

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Alvana Ojukwu and Gender Equality

Jibrin Ibrahim, Deepening Democracy, Trust, 23rd July 2012


This weekend, a number of civil society organisations were in Aba to pay a condolence visit on the family of our departed colleague, Alvana Ojukwu, who died in the Dana air crash of 3rd June 2012. She was enroute to Lagos to attend a workshop on promoting affirmative action for women in our political system. She was involved with a collaborative effort of civil society organisations and women politicians preparing a memorandum suggesting practical ways in which the constitutional review process could be used to introduce mandatory constitutional and statutory provisions to increase the proportion of women in elective offices.

Alvana was a bright young lawyer who was totally committed to her job in the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) of improving the conditions of women. As the programme officer in charge of gender in the organisation, she was always on the forefront of devising programmes that can lead to positive change for women. Her untimely death was a devastating blow to all of us in CDD.

Meeting her mother this Saturday was a heart breaking affair. The woman was still devastated and could hardly talk but the sadness in her eyes told the story of the shock and sorrow that has afflicted her since that terrible crash of 3rd June 2012. What mother can understand and accept losing such a promising life for her young daughter. As we said to her however, whatever we feel, we cannot but accept God’s will.

The road to Aba was another story. The stretch on the Port Harcourt – Enugu express way is a shame to Nigeria. There is in reality no road. Vehicles simply searched, mostly unsuccessfully, for the smaller pot holes to navigate. Aba town itself is a total disgrace. The potholes are so massive that a bevy of strong young men have found employment pushing stranded cars out of mammoth potholes. There is no evidence that Aba has seen governance in the past decade. The excessive individualism of Aba citizens is also alarming. Why would they allow a situation in which their cars are continuously wrecked by massive pot holes and their children have to wade through knee high pools of water while they pay their taxes and voted in the political class that is ruling and ruining their lives and property?  

Returning to Alvana, one of the key issues she was working on just before her death was the famous Decree 27 of 1989 which was used to ban political parties from having women wings or youth wings. The relevant section of the Decree states thus:

6 (1) No political party shall establish, operate, retain, train or equip any person or group of persons or maintain any wing, vanguard or faction in whatever form, manner or by whatever name called to function in whatever form, manner or by whatever name called, to function in whatever form, manner or to foster the programme or manifesto of such political party or act as a militant group of the political party

The justification for the ban was laudable. During the First and Second Republics, women’s wings of political parties were composed mainly of entertainers and sex workers charged with servicing the male politicians while the youth wings were composed mainly of thugs recruited to harass and harm competing parties. Given this reality, the leaders of the women’s and youth wings were not in the executive committees of the parties. 

The new political order of Babangida replaced the women and youth wings with the WOMAN and YOUTH leaders each of whom had one position in the Executive Committee at the national, state and local government levels of the party. Alvana was concerned that this one position was not good enough and was mere tokenism. Women and youth she believed should reconstitute their wings and branches on a new agenda of demanding for gender equality. Babangida’s Decree 19, she argued, was dead and buried. 

In an email to me shortly before her death, she argued that; “The Constitution is the Grand norm, (the supreme legislation), and every other legislation contrary to what it stipulates is null and void to the extent of its inconsistency with the provisions of the constitution. The Constitution provides for freedom of association, and particularly mentions freedom to form or belong to any association for the protection of one’s interests. The closest restriction to freedom of association with regards to political parties is found in Section 227 of the Constitution which basically bans political parties from retaining any group of persons for the purpose of display/use of physical force or coercion. Decree 27 of 1989 was in some ways, a ploy by Babangida to kill political parties which will in turn make it easy for the military to remain in power.” 

·       Our constitution, unlike the Decree in question, provided for such matters as multi party elections and was silent on the matter of women wings but rather waxed strong on issues of freedom of association. In addition, she argued, the Supreme Court decision on INEC v. Balarabe Musa made clear pronouncements in its judgement on regulation of political parties. It particularly ruled that the regulation of political parties by the State comes in two forms namely: regulation directly by the Constitution and regulation authorized by the legislature or other agency of the State (such as INEC). It therefore “follows that any attempt to regulate political parties not by the Constitution itself or by its authority is invalid”

Political parties, she argued, should not continue to believe that they are legally prevented from establishing women’s wings or caucuses of parties. No provisions bar them in the existing legal framework so women in political parties should establish formal caucuses to promote a women’s agenda rather depend on the single woman leader. She urged me to allow her proceed to prepare a policy brief and dissemination meetings to push this agenda which I accepted, but alas, we will now have to continue on the project without her.

The concern of Alvana and others struggling for gender equality is that after twelve years of our appealing to them to increase the number of women nominated to contest elections, progress has been minimal. In fact, in the 2011 elections, fewer women were election into various posts than in 2007. The results of our advocacy have therefore not been significant. We therefore need a new strategy in which internal party structures for agitation are broadened while we continue to struggle for mandatory quotas established by the Constitution or by statute to force political parties present more women for electoral seats. May Alvana’s soul rest in perfect peace while the struggle continues?

Vacancy: Research Analyst/Officer

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ABOUT CENTRE FOR DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT (CDD)

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) was established in the United Kingdom in 1997 as an independent, not-for-profit, research training, advocacy and capacity-building organisation. The purpose was to mobilise global opinion and resources for democratic development and provide an independent space to reflect critically on the challenges posed to the democratisation and development processes in West Africa. Our mission is to be the prime catalyst and facilitator for strategic analysis and capacity building for sustainable democracy and development in West Africa. CDD set out to generate dialogue on alternative pathways that are universally relevant and context-sensitive. The Centre remains focused on capacity building work, policy advocacy, and as a research reference point on democratic governance, human security, people-centred development and human rights.

The Research Analyst will lead in the provision of support to the organisation’s evolving areas of analytical and programmatic expertise, especially in the areas of democratisation, security, emerging technologies, and sustainable development in West Africa. 

Qualification and Experience 

  • A master’s degree in the social sciences, law, or the humanities (though exceptional recent graduates will be considered).
  • Strong writing and analytical skills.
  • Exceptional organisational skills and attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated interested in and understanding of issues related to peace and mediation, conflict and insecurity, democracy and elections, women’s political participation and gender inequalities, disinformation, transitional justice, and how emerging technologies will affect politics and society.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work in a team environment.
  • Proficiency with the entire Microsoft Office Suite and experience in multimedia production.
  • Experience in a non-profit, think tank, or analytical research role preferred.

Responsibilities

  • Provide advanced analytical support to the research unit, including leading in drafting and authoring research proposals, research briefs and memos on relevant issues.
  • Contribute to the preparation of high-quality research outputs and multimedia products.
  • Provide on-call research to support preparation for meetings, events, publications, multimedia products, and research trips.
  • Attend relevant policy and scholarly events and provide a summary to the research unit.
  • Consult a wide variety of news services and peer-reviewed journals and prepare memos to brief the research unit staff on relevant and emerging trends in West Africa.
  • Effectively coordinate and manage the pool of research interns
    Support in maintaining and developing external partnerships in private, public, and civil society sectors.
  • Liaise with our communications team to maximise the exposure of our research and advocacy.
  • Support in identifying new research and funding opportunities that have the potential for significant growth.
  • Undertake any other duties assigned by the Director of research.

Method of Application 

Qualified Applicants for the position above must email their  CVs (Max 3pages, Word or pdf document); a letter of expression of interest; and two (2) writing samples, each no longer than 5 pages to: recruitment@cddwestafrica.org & shusaini@cddwestafrica.org using the “Name and Job title” as the subject of the mail.

Application Deadline:
23rd August 2021
Please note that applications sent after the deadline will not be considered.

Further Note:

  • Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.
  • Only Electronically submitted applications will be entertained. Scanned applications will be disregarded.
  • Subject line of emails must state clearly the Name of Applicant and Job Title of position applied for.
  • No phone calls, please.

Operation Safe Corridor Deradicalization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration 2021 Annual Strategic Retreat

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On the 30th of June- 1st July 2021 at the Palm Hotel, Abuja, The Centre for Democracy and Development in collaboration with Operation Safe Corridor (OPSC) held a 2-day annual strategic retreat. The retreat brought together various key stakeholders which included members of National Orientation Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Office of the National Security Adviser, Federal Ministry of Justice, National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, International Organization on Migration (IOM)and the Armed Forces, (including the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). 

The Context

The conflict in Northeast Nigeria has been raging on for over 12 years with devastating effects on its people in the hands of Boko Haram. The Boko Haram insurgency has also trickled into neighbouring countries such as Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. The presence of Boko Haram has led to grave human rights violations, sexual and gender-based violence, killings, abduction, kidnapping and destruction of property to name a few with over 2.4 million people displaced in the Lake Chad Basin.

The Intervention

To address these challenges, The Nigerian version of the Deradicalization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Initiatives was designed as the state’s non-kinetic approach towards counterterrorism and peacebuilding efforts in the region.  The Operation Safe Corridor DRR program was launched in 2015 to encourage willing and repentant Boko Haram insurgents to surrender and embrace peace. By April 2021, the OPSC program has successfully deradicalized and rehabilitated over 900 repented ex-combatants and successfully reintegrated back to their host communities, states, and countries of origin.

About The Retreat

Since its inception, the Centre for Democracy and Development has been engaging with OPSC to facilitate annual strategic retreats with DRR program management and staff aimed at continuous review and strengthening of the program in the form of yearly annual retreats.

The 2021 Annual retreat facilitated by the Centre provided an opportunity for the managers of the OPSC DRR Program including the Advisory Committees and DRR Camp managers to share experiences, review the entire DRR programs processes/mechanism, existing policies/operational guidelines, the Deradicalization and Clients Treatment Programs, identified gaps and planned towards scaling and speeding up the DRR Initiative.  

The Centre for Democracy and Development remain committed to continuing to provide technical and financial support to OPSC in its counterterrorism efforts and supporting best practices while using transitional justice processes.

Friends of Europe – Europe and the Sahel

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Friends of Europe, in partnership with Centre for Democracy and Development, invites you to join us for our upcoming debate on security developments in the Sahel and the presentation of our upcoming study on Europe and the Sahel. The debate will take place online on Wednesday, 12 May from 10.00-11.30 (CEST).

Join João Gomes Cravinho, Portuguese Minister of Defence, Fatoumata Haidara, West and Central Africa Sahel Director at Plan International, and Irina Schoulgin Nyoni, Ambassador, Deputy Director General and Head of
Africa Department at Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Claire Raulin, French PSC Ambassador, and Irchad Razaaly, Head of West Africa at the European External Action Service (EEAS) to discuss the recommendations and conclusions with the author of the study, Paul Taylor, Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe and European Affairs Editor at Politico.

Creating peace and stability in the Sahel is crucial for developing the region, preventing the diffusion of conflict and ensuring the safety and security of those living there. Disentangling the peace and security landscape is critical for finding the route to a coherent strategy for durable peace and lasting stability in the region. Yet, without policy changes, governance reform and a more inclusive, less military-focused vision, the EU risks pouring increasing amounts of money into the Sahel to achieve little improvement.

Questions for discussion will include:
• Which objectives should the European Union and its member states realistically aim to achieve in the region?
• How can military, diplomatic, development, humanitarian and state-building tools best be combined to
effectively achieve this aim?
• What are the potential long-term ‘exit strategies’ in the Sahel?

We look forward to welcoming you online on 12 May!

A case for continued election observation in Africa

By Uncategorized

The core value of election observation lies in the recommendations offered in observer reports, which serve as the basis for post-election reforms and long-term strengthening of democracy. Observers also contribute by building confidence in democratic practices and in deterring irregularities, particularly in transition and post-conflict contexts. However recent court annulments of presidential elections in Kenya (2017) and Malawi (2019), that were initially deemed satisfactory by international and citizen observer groups, have led to questions about the credibility and relevance of their assessments.

A recent academic paper by Khabele Matlosa, described international election observation as ‘wounded’ and noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has added salt to this wound. Pandemic restrictions have prevented international groups from fully observing critical elections on the continent in the past year. As the electoral landscape in Africa continues to evolve, technical and political developments over the past decade, coupled with the new reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, call for a shift in the focus and practices of election observation.

Are observers still relevant within the rapidly evolving electoral context in Africa?

Observers are still needed within the African context, but election observation has reached an inflection point where its relevance and credibility are dependent on a review of the methodological approach used and enhanced collaboration between domestic, regional and international actors.

Over the past two decades, elections have become the accepted means of ascendance to power in most African countries. Many of which welcome observers deployed by African intergovernmental bodies (IGBs) such as the African Union (AU) and African regional economic communities; non-African IGBs like the European Union, the Commonwealth, and the International Organisation of La Francophonie; and representatives of international non-governmental organisations like the Electoral Institute for Southern Africa (EISA), National Democratic Institute (NDI) and The Carter Center (TCC). However, the increased regularity of elections is not commensurate with increased credibility of polls.

Politics in Africa remains ethnicised and divisive, with the widespread distrust of electoral institutions and processes contributing to contested electoral outcomes and, in some cases, electoral violence. In the 21 elections held in Africa between March 2020 and March 2021, the opposition rejected the outcome in nine countries and boycotted in two, with protests sparking post-election clashes in several. In these contexts, African IGBs in their election assessments face the dilemma of promoting peace and stability at the expense of democracy. This tension was exemplified in the ECOWAS mission’s statement on Guinea’s 2020 election.

The fact that the AU did not issue statements during controversial polls in Tanzania (2020) and Uganda (2021) and its recall of AU observers from Guinea’s controversial legislative elections and referendum in 2020 could suggest a subtle shift, but overall African IGBs struggle to balance their role as election observers – a largely technical endeavour – with their political and diplomatic commitments as regional authorities. Although these groups have expanded their observation methodology to create a stronger link between observation, conflict prevention and mediation and technical assistance, they still face challenges linked to budgetary constraints, political interference and weak technical capacity that undermines their ability to undertake a robust assessment of electoral processes within member states. Here, the deployment of observers by international NGOs like EISA, NDI and TCC, drawing on same principles as the African IGBs, provides a more balanced outlook and assessment of elections on the continent as they are less constrained by regional politics.

But election observer groups across the board are increasingly challenged by their limited access, and insufficient technical capacity, to assess more digitised electoral processes. Technology is used by almost half of the election management bodies (EMBs) on the continent – for voter registration and identification, to voting machines and results management systems – but observer access to these processes remain restricted. Observer groups in their methodological approaches are also struggling to effectively assess the emerging digital threats to electoral integrity exacerbated by the increased use of social media and online campaigning. They are also limited in their ability to assess party and campaign finance, which is crucial to their conclusions on the fairness of the electoral playing field. These gaps have led to criticism of election observation missions as electoral tourists whose methodology does not match up to the rapid pace of technological and political developments and emerging trends in electoral manipulation.

Evolving approaches

In the last decade, there has been a gradual shift away from the narrow focus on election day to more robust assessments of electoral processes across the electoral cycle; from the pre-election context to the adjudication of appeals. This methodological evolution has incorporated the longer-term deployment of observers and deployment of post-election follow-up missions to advocate for the implementation of mission recommendations. The community of international observers is also leading efforts to develop methodologies for assessing thematic issues like  social media, disinformation, online campaigning and reform advocacy and facilitating knowledge transfer to citizen observers on these issues.

There is also progress in efforts to improve the working relationship between citizen observer groups and their regional and international counterparts. The value of citizen observation lies in their presence in-country throughout the electoral cycle; their work on electoral reform advocacy; the strength of their geographical coverage offered by large deployments; and their robust assessment of different thematic aspects of the electoral cycle. Whilst citizen observers serve a watchdog role to keep authorities accountable, they are also more constrained by the political context in which they operate.

Over the past decade, eleven African countries passed restrictive laws to constrain the civic space for civil society organisations (CSOs). During elections, clampdowns are more common. In Kenya in 2017 police raided CSO offices, whilst others were threatened by the government with deregistration. Here, international observers have a comparative advantage, in that they are positioned to hold states accountable and mediate conflicts, which is beyond the remit of citizen observers. While international observation is an expression of international community’s support for the promotion of democratic norms and an assessment of compliance with international human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other international instruments, for citizens, it is an expression of their right to participate in the public affairs of their countries as enshrined in Article 21 of the UDHR and Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Closer collaboration

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, closer collaboration between regional, international and citizen observers has gained more prominence. As international election observation missions have adjusted their methodology to the current realities – by reducing the length of their deployment and employing alternative methodologies like virtual pre-election assessments, recruitment of in-country diplomats and in some cases nationals as analysts, and with the deployment of smaller technical teams – they have also sought greater collaboration with citizen observers. This collaboration, predominantly done by international non-governmental organisation observer groups, involves providing technical support to citizen groups. The NDI’s deployment of virtual long-term thematic analysts is one example of adaptation of methodology and collaboration.

Improved collaboration will not only strengthen the credibility of election observation assessments, by drawing on citizen observer’s longer-term thematic analysis and their familiarity with the context, but also strengthen the recommendations of observer groups. Ultimately, the core value of observation lies in the recommendations offered in observer reports, which should align with and feed into post-election reforms agenda and long term democracy strengthening efforts. The publication of AU EOM final reports since 2012 is a welcome development in this regard and should be emulated by regional bodies. Published reports serve as the basis for post-election reform advocacy which is the first point of collaboration with citizen groups. The AU and regional bodies should also streamline their mediation and observation efforts within the framework of the principle of subsidiarity.

Informing reform

To achieve its goal of promoting democracy, election observation must do more to ensure its recommendations inform wider reform processes. National groups should lead reform initiatives in the post-election period, with support from regional and international observation missions through their follow-up and electoral support initiatives. Beyond collaboration within the election observation community of practice, there is need to strengthen exchanges between the observation community and the electoral management community. This can be achieved through the continental and regional networks of EMBs, to facilitate dialogue on the issue of full access throughout the electoral process for observers.

Rather than highlight the irrelevance of election observation, recent developments point to the need to refocus observation methodology to embrace an electoral cycle-based approach that promotes greater complementarity between international and citizen observers. Collaboration that is cognisant that the purpose and objectives of citizen and international observers differ, though both groups work towards the same goal, and that one group may not ultimately replace the other.

Election support providers should recognise this by investing in strengthening the capacity of citizen observers to look beyond large election day deployments and towards longer term, in-depth analysis of key thematic issues – such as the digital information eco-system and campaign finance – throughout the electoral cycle. These issues require in-depth analysis and familiarity with the context that international groups struggle to obtain in short stints in the country.

Olufunto Akinduro is a senior programme officer at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

CDD VACANCY: INTERNSHIP FOR FACT CHECKERS

By Uncategorized

Background

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) was established in the United Kingdom in 1997 and subsequently registered in Lagos – Nigeria, in 1999 as an independent, not-for-profit, research, training, advocacy and capacity-building organization. The Centre was established to mobilize global opinion and resources for democratic development and provide an independent space to reflect critically on the challenges posed to the democratization and development processes in West Africa and provide alternatives and best practices to the sustenance of democracy and development in the region. CDD envisions a West Africa that is democratically governed, economically integrated – promoting human security and people-centred development. The Centre’s mission is to be the prime catalyst and facilitator for strategic analysis and capacity building for sustainable democracy and development in the West African sub-region.

About the Internship

To provide support for its programmes aimed at countering fake news and misinformation, CDD is recruiting talented and passionate young individuals as fact-checkers. Candidates for the internship will be self-starters who possess excellent written and communication skills. Candidates for this internship role must be multi-taskers with a readiness to meet deadlines, given the time-bound feature of many fact checks. Ideal candidates must possess the tenacity to consistently track fake news and misinformation and provide the appropriate narratives to counter such content on and offline. To be successful on this assignment, candidates for the internship will possess the capacity to:

  • Spot fake news, disinformation and misinformation, and respond quickly to same by drafting accurate fact checks.
  • Rapidly contact reliable and authoritative sources to confirm the accuracy of information, claims and counterclaims.    
  • Consistently beam the searchlight on regular and non-regular sources of misinformation.
  • Competently deploy data-driven approaches, visualization techniques and relevant technical processes to aid the fact-checking operations.
  • Draft weekly roundup of fact checks. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Work closely with fact-checking editors to ensure appropriate and rigorous systems are developed to guide
  • Draft, review and validate fact checks in line with set programme targets
  • Consistently track known sources of misinformation, including but not limited to political actors, ethnic agenda champions, and social influencers
  • Participate in the drafting and development of expanded programme reports on impact and mileage of fact checks
  • Support donor reporting and project proposal development, including proper implementation for the realization of project deliverables.

Qualification

Applicants for this internship must possess a Bachelors Degree, preferably in arts and social in any discipline, and must have completed their National Youth Service (NYSC). Applicants for the internship must not be more than 35 years. Interested applicants should send CVs and Cover Letters to recruitment@cddwestafrica.org on or before Friday, May 7, 2021. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

CDD VACANCY: INTERNSHIP FOR FACT CHECKERS

By Uncategorized

Background

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) was established in the United Kingdom in 1997 and subsequently registered in Lagos – Nigeria, in 1999 as an independent, not-for-profit, research, training, advocacy and capacity-building organization. The Centre was established to mobilize global opinion and resources for democratic development and provide an independent space to reflect critically on the challenges posed to the democratization and development processes in West Africa and provide alternatives and best practices to the sustenance of democracy and development in the region. CDD envisions a West Africa that is democratically governed, economically integrated – promoting human security and people-centred development. The Centre’s mission is to be the prime catalyst and facilitator for strategic analysis and capacity building for sustainable democracy and development in the West African sub-region.

About the Internship

To provide support for its programmes aimed at countering fake news and misinformation, CDD is recruiting talented and passionate young individuals as fact-checkers. Candidates for the internship will be self-starters who possess excellent written and communication skills. Candidates for this internship role must be multi-taskers with a readiness to meet deadlines, given the time-bound feature of many fact checks. Ideal candidates must possess the tenacity to consistently track fake news and misinformation and provide the appropriate narratives to counter such content on and offline. To be successful on this assignment, candidates for the internship will possess the capacity to:

  • Spot fake news, disinformation and misinformation, and respond quickly to same by drafting accurate fact checks.
  • Rapidly contact reliable and authoritative sources to confirm the accuracy of information, claims and counterclaims.    
  • Consistently beam the searchlight on regular and non-regular sources of misinformation.
  • Competently deploy data-driven approaches, visualization techniques and relevant technical processes to aid the fact-checking operations.
  • Draft weekly roundup of fact checks. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Work closely with fact-checking editors to ensure appropriate and rigorous systems are developed to guide
  • Draft, review and validate fact checks in line with set programme targets
  • Consistently track known sources of misinformation, including but not limited to political actors, ethnic agenda champions, and social influencers
  • Participate in the drafting and development of expanded programme reports on impact and mileage of fact checks
  • Support donor reporting and project proposal development, including proper implementation for the realization of project deliverables.

Qualification

Applicants for this internship must possess a Bachelors Degree, preferably in arts and social in any discipline, and must have completed their National Youth Service (NYSC). Applicants for the internship must not be more than 35 years. Interested applicants should send CVs and Cover Letters to cddabv@gmail.com  on or before Friday, May 7, 2021. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

CDD NEWSLETTER FOR WEEK ENDING APRIL 25, 2021

By Fact Check, Uncategorized
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With our weekly newsletter, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) aims to inform the public about the work we do and build their capacity in countering disinformation which has become a grave concern to well-meaning citizens. For this past week, this newsletter showcases claims and narratives fact-checked by the Centre which include; the claim that Nigeria’s currency is now the weakest in Africa, eight people were arrested in Kano state for not observing the Ramadan fast, the EFCC arrested the Zamfara State Governor and viral image of NBA protest banner reading ‘Autotomy’.

On April 21, 2020, fact-checkers CDD spotted a trending report with the headline, Nigerian Naira fast becoming the weakest currency in Africa.

The claim which was widely shared on social media including WhatsApp groups gave a breakdown of the value of the Naira to currencies of 25 other African countries. It claimed the Nigerian naira is weaker than these other currencies including the Angolan Kwanza, Madagascar’s Ariary and the Sudanese Pound.

According to the report, the Angolan 1Kwanza is equal to ₦12, Madagascar’s  1Ariary is equal to ₦14 and the Sudanese 1Pound is  ₦42. These and 22 other countries’ currencies were compared to the Naira.

Checks by CDD fact-checkers showed that the claim made in the piece which has been widely shared is misleading.

Our fact-checkers reviewed currency values of the country compared in the claim with that of Nigeria and the review showed that the Kwanza is currently at 1 to N0.58 as opposed to ₦12;  the Ariary is 1 to 0.10 Naira as opposed to ₦14 and the Sudanese Pound is 1 to 1 Naira as opposed to ₦42 stated in the report.

Read the full fact-check here

Did EFCC Arrest Zamfara State Governor?

On Wednesday 21, April 2021, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a claim published by an online newspaper, GoldennewsNg, that the governor of Zamfara State has been arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

The claim reads “Just in: EFCC Arrest Governor of Zamfara State-see reason”

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An investigation carried out by CDD on the report shows that the claim is misleading as the governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle has not been arrested by the EFCC.

Read the full fact-check here

Viral Image of NBA Protest Banner Reading ‘Autotomy’ Was Photoshopped

An image circulating on Twitter, WhatsApp, and Facebook shows that the Nigerian Bar Association misspelled the word ‘Autonomy’ as ‘Autotomy’ on a banner used for a protest by the Association’s, Abuja Chapter.

The banner carried by some members of the NBA during the protest where they made their support for judicial autonomy had the word “Autotomy” circled in red.

Findings by CDD show the image was photoshopped. A reverse image search done on the said image showed that it has not been used anywhere else online.

The CDD contacted the Chairperson of the Abuja Chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association, Hauwa Shekarau who described the “Autotomy” banner as doctored.

Shekarau also said that the banner was being shared by mischief-makers

Read the full fact-check here

Has Kano Police Banned Ramadan Traditional Street Drama (Tashe)?

On Wednesday, April 21, 2021, reports that the Kano State Police has banned the annual traditional street drama popularly known as Tashe swamped the internet.

The report published by several organisations including Rahma TV said some bad eggs with the state are using the opportunity to commit heinous crimes.  

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The news that Kano State Police Command has banned this year’s traditional street drama popularly known as “Tashe” in Hausa is true. The command’s public relations officer, DSP Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa said the ban has not affected the traditional street drama performed by children.

The yearly traditional street drama popularly called “Tashe” in Hausa is performed when by children and other individuals to entertain the public.

Read the full fact-check here

Were 8 People Arrested By Kano Hisbah For Eating During Ramadan?

On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, a story published by several online newspapers said that the Kano Hisbah Board had arrested eight people for not fasting during the 2021 Ramadan.

An investigation conducted by CDD shows that the report that eight people were arrested by the Kano State Hisbah Board is true.

Commander General of Kano Hisbah, Sheikh Muhammad Harun Ibnsina also confirmed the arrest. He said that those arrested found eating during the Ramadan period without any form of medical excuse.

Read the full fact-check

CDD REPORTS

How Youth Can Reshape Political Participation in Nigeria

Farmer-Herder Conflict in Northern Nigeria: Trends, Dynamics and Gender Perspectives

Using Social Media to Improve Nigeria’s Electoral Management

CDD IN THE NEWS

CDD eulogies Late Innocent Chukwuma, his achievements as an iconic Civil Activist

CDD mourns Innoncent Chukwuma

Nigerians should desist from spreading fake news

ANALYSIS: With Deby’s death, Chadian security, ‘coup’ could have implications for Nigeria

Lessons from the Book of Innocent, By Udo Jude Ilo

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity of stories before sharing them.

You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

CDD Condemns Killing of Three Voters at Ekiti State Assembly Bye-Election

By Press Release, Uncategorized

PRESS STATEMENT

March 21, 2021

Abuja

•            Calls for the Enactment of Electoral Offenses Commission and Speedy Prosecution of Culprits

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-West Africa) is dismayed by the violent disruption of the conduct of Saturday, March 20, 2021 bye-election for the Ekiti East Constituency (1) of the State House of Assembly.

Despite the peace accord signed by the political actors participating in the election on March 17, 2021, criminal elements have again undermined the smooth conduct of the election. Those who do not want the electorate to decide the outcome of an election have again frustrated the efforts of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve on the existing quality and standard of elections. This latest attempt to subvert the will of the electorate undermines the assurance that votes would count. It is most unfortunate that politicians have continued to demoralize the Commission’s effort to ensure a violent free bye-election.

Electoral violence affects electoral participation; particularly it increases voter apathy in several ways; studies abound that voters who have experienced threats of election violence at the polls are less likely to vote in future elections. Electoral violence does undermine the modest progress of INEC towards ensuring the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.

As we prepare for the off-cycle polls in Anambra (2021), Ekiti and Osun (2022), the National Assembly must take the opportunity of the Constitution and Electoral Amendment process to enact the Electoral Offenses Commission. The Commission will be responsible for investigating and diligently prosecuting all acts of electoral violence and other related matters. There is an urgent need to sanitize the electoral landscape, empowering the election management architecture to conduct seamless, transparent and credible elections, where losers will exhibit sportsmanship and winners will be gracious in their victory.

CDD condoles with the families of the voters killed in Polling Unit 007, Ward 07; we place a demand on the authorities that their death must never be in vain. And without equivocation, we call on the Nigeria Police to immediately arrest and prosecute all the criminal elements responsible for the killing of the three voters, and injuring policewoman and the INEC Staff who were on election duty.

 As we head up to the 2023 general elections, we challenge INEC to be ready to take the decisive step of banning any political party and/or candidates involved in electoral violence. Until there is a deterrent, the political class may never play by the rule of engagement. We hope that the 2023 General Elections will see less electoral violence.

Signed

Idayat Hassan

Director

Vacancy: Communications and Information Technology (IT) Officer

By Uncategorized

BACKGROUND

In view of its quest for expansion, productivity and actualization of its strategic plan and Program objectives, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) is currently searching for competent, experienced, resourceful and proactive officers to join its team and fill the following positions

Job Position:  Communications and Information Technology (IT) Officer

Industry type: NGO

Job Location: Abuja.

Contract term: Full Time

Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s degree or HND in Information Communication, Computer Science or any other related field.
  • 3-5 years relevant experience in Communication and Media as well as IT
  • Quality experience in the use of social media and digital platforms.
  • Knowledge on the use of design software such as InDesign and Photoshop
  • Higher qualification in Communication and Media would be an added advantage.
  • Relevant experience as a Communications and Media practitioner with any Government entity/agency or NGO is an asset.
  • Exceptional communication skills, interpersonal skills and ability to operate with little or no supervision.
  • Good team building qualities with excellent writing skills.
  • He/she must be highly computer literate with a good knowledge of all Micro Soft office tools as well as effective handling and operation of online tools and portals.
  • Good visibility enhancement skills and Ability to engage actively via social media.

Responsibilities

  • Assist in the implementation of the organisation’s Communications Strategy.
  • Provide support to the Director and all Heads of Department on all communication activities.
  • Lead in the development and dissemination of communication prints and audiovisual materials.
  • Handle media monitoring and develop regular media reports from monitoring data.
  • Provide media relations support for all staff of the organisation including responding to requests and gathering input for talking points.
  • Draft press releases, statements and success stories of the organisation.
  • Provide support for the organisation’s public campaigns and events.
  • Lead in managing the organisation’s digital platforms.
  • Assist in Design and creation of social media content as well as content for all communication channels (website, social media, Basecamp, Mailchimp, Adobe Creative e.t.c)
  • Support in planning, monitoring and reporting of communication activities.
  • Participate on behalf of the organisation in work related external communication groups.
  • Assist the program unit in implementing planned communications activities.
  • Maintain library/ database of reference materials, photos and videos of the activities.
  • Provide support to enhancing visibility for all the programs and activities.
  • Support in the production of the Newsletters, Annual reports and editorial series for Publications.
  • Perform other tasks as assigned by the Director or his/her designate.

Core Values

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Transparency
  • Hardwork

Competencies

  • Effective Communication
  • Being action-oriented, self motivated, responsible and willing to take initiative.
  • Good stakeholder engagement and knowledge of donor relationship management.
  • Ability to create, edit and present information in clear and presentable formats, using appropriate IT functions.
  • Knowledge of social media and communication strategies and methods;
  • Ability to communicate with clarity of expression and a good command of English language.
  • Good event planning and execution skills;
  • Ability to identify relevant events and stories and communicate them to a mass audience;
  • Good multimedia skills. (Radio, TV etc)
  • Having an eye for detail and ability to work under work pressure and meet deadlines.

Method of Application

Applicants for the respective positions above must email their CVs (Max 3 pages, Word or pdf) and a letter of expression of interest to: recruitment@cddwestafrica.org using the “Name and Job title” as the subject of the mail. Two (2) writing samples, each no longer than 5 pages.

Applications Deadline:  19th March 2021

Further Notes:

  • Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.
  • Only Electronically submitted applications will be entertained. Scanned applications will be disregarded.
  • No phone calls, please.
  • Subject line of emails must state clearly the Name of Applicant and Job Title of position applied for.

Vacancy: Head of Program

By Uncategorized

BACKGROUND

In view of its quest for expansion, productivity and actualization of its strategic plan and Program objectives, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) is currently searching for competent, experienced, resourceful and proactive officers to join its team and fill the following positions

Job Position: Head of Program

Industry Type: NGO
Job Location:
   Abuja

Contract Type: Full Time

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Advanced degree (Masters) in Social Sciences, Humanities, Law or related fields with strong social research background.  A higher degree will be an added advantage as well as professional membership.
  • Minimum of five years management level experience in the non-profit sector, especially in an academic institution, policy think-tank, NGO or related organization.
  • Proven project development, fund raising and program management skills.
  • Familiarity with the literature and contemporary issues in plural politics, crime, justice reform, security, good governance, public education, sensitisation and awareness.
  • Demonstrable team-oriented personality and strong leadership skills.
  • Ability to work well in an entrepreneurial, multicultural and multi-location organization.
  • Ability to communicate clearly, respectfully and sensitively with colleagues, partners, beneficiaries and members of the public.
  • Knowledgeable in Advocacy and policy development.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft office and database management software.
  • Expertise in the use of social media for communication to different stakeholders
Responsibilities
  • The successful candidate will lead on Project development, fundraising and program management for the entire organization.
  • Provide leaders for the organization program department  and report to the Director;
  • Function as Head of the Program Team. Ensure effective team meeting. Maintain line supervision of all staff working in the program department. Evaluate program and project staff performance.
  • Identify new grant and project opportunities for the organization and play lead role in drafting proposals for fundraising and implementation.
  • Work in close collaboration with other heads of departments, sub-team leaders and other staff in the organization.
  • Participate in the regular meetings of the Senior Management Team as a member.
  • Maintain and improve relationship with project partners and ensure that reporting obligations to them are carried out in a timely and satisfactory manner.
  • Represent the organization in speaking engagements, workshops, and seminars on topics related to the mission of the organisation as directed by the Director or any other person acting on his/her behalf.
  • Ensure proper documentation of program implementation.
  • Coordinating public policy advocacy
  • Work with Finance department to ensure that project budgets are well managed.
  • Facilitate trainings and capacity building for staff members of the department.
  • Process documentation in standardizing methodologies, building a practice and organizational learning;
  • Contribute articles to the publications of the organization and for publication in the print media;
  • Remain knowledgeable about concepts and issues in democracy, good governance, security and justice in Nigeria, West Africa and the world.
  • Carry out any other functions that may be directed by the Director or any other person acting on her behalf.
General Duties Include:
  • The maintenance of regular communication and reporting procedures with the Director, other staff and/or consultants.
    • The performance of any other duties that may be reasonably requested by the Director or his/her Designate.

Core Values

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Transparency
  • Hardwork

Competencies

  • Excellent communication skills in both verbal and written English. Working knowledge of French language will be an added advantage
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to Communicate clearly with staff, its partners and members of the public
  • Interest in progressive issues and commitment to public interest work
  • Ability to Prioritize work and take initiatives within agreed guidelines and deadlines
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Internet;
  • Willingness to develop professional and personal skills necessary to perform assigned tasks 
  • Work accurately and detailed particularly under pressure of deadlines and able to maintain reliable projects files
  • Willingness and ability to travel and work outside regular location when necessary.

Method of Application

Applicants for the respective positions above must email their CVs (Max 3 pages, Word or pdf) and a letter of expression of interest to: recruitment@cddwestafrica.org using the “Name and Job title” as the subject of the mail. Two (2) writing samples, each no longer than 5 pages.

Applications Deadline:  19th March 2021

Further Notes:

  • Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.
  • Only Electronically submitted applications will be entertained. Scanned applications will be disregarded.
  • No phone calls, please.
  • Subject line of emails must state clearly the Name of Applicant and Job Title of position applied for.

Judgements and Jurisprudence: Presiding over presidential petitions in Africa

By Publication, Publications, Uncategorized

By Dr O’Brien Kaaba

In 2017 the Kenyan Supreme Court became the first court on the African continent to annul a presidential election following full due process. In February 2020 the Malawian High Court, sitting as a constitutional court, followed suit in cancelling the results of the May 2019 presidential election. Not only did the judges demonstrate extraordinary courage in pronouncing these verdicts, but they demonstrated what a competent and independent judiciary can do to ensure democratic electoral processes are free, fair and credible on the continent.

Hiding behind technicalities

For the most part courts across Africa have been unwilling to reverse electoral outcomes, preferring instead to seek refuge in technicalities when casting judgement. This reflects poorly on judicial independence, and brings to the fore the reality that many judges are appointed as a reward for their loyalty to those in power, not because of their competence and capabilities.

The first of these is the use of procedural technicalities to dismiss the case, thereby avoiding hearing its merits. In 2016, the Zambian Constitutional Court decided to abandon the election petition, without determining its merits, on the pretext that the 14 days set by the Constitution, during which the case should be heard and determined, had elapsed.

Another technicality used by courts is simply to abdicate judicial responsibility and avoid rendering a judgment. This has been a common approach deployed by the Zimbabwean judiciary. Following the 2002 elections, a petition was filed in the High Court by losing opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai seeking the nullification of the presidential election results on the grounds that the election was characterised by widespread violence and intimidation, corruption, voter fraud and ballot-stuffing. After hearing the case for seven months, Justice Ben Hlatshwayo, in a terse one-page ruling, dismissed the allegations and promised to render a reasoned judgment in two weeks. The judgment never came.

The 2013 Zimbabwean elections were also challenged in Court. To prepare their case, the petitioner made a preliminary application to the Court to allow him to have access to election materials. The Constitutional Court reserved ruling on the application and by the time the hearing of the petition commenced, had still to take a decision. This forced the petitioner to withdraw the petition, indicating that it was going to be impossible to substantiate the allegations of irregularities without access to election materials.

A final, and arguably most common technicality, is to misapply the materiality test, also known as the substantive effect rule. This rule is premised on the idea that some electoral irregularities may be minor and inconsequential, while others may be significant enough to have a bearing on an election’s fairness and legitimacy. Inconsequential mistakes, omissions and commissions should not lead to an annulment of an election, provided that its overall fairness was not vitiated. But the substantive effect rule has provided an escape route to timorous or compromised judges who prefer to defer to incumbents.

In Uganda, successive election petitions by opponents of the incumbent have been unsuccessful, ultimately because the petitioners have been unable to prove, quantitatively, that the alleged malpractice has substantially affected the outcome of the election. This focus on numbers can effectively legitimatise large scale election cheating. But proving substantive effect is difficult. It is further complicated by short timeframes and the fact that the data that can be used to validate the claim is often in the hands of the electoral management body and that some irregularities, such as political violence, are not susceptible to numerical quantification in relation to election results. Interpretations of the substantive effect rule have been applied in judgements that confirmed the outcome of recent elections in Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Historic decisions

In August 2017, the Kenyan Supreme Court made a ground-breaking decision when it annulled the election of Uhuru Kenyatta. By a majority of four to two, the court held that the presidential poll was not conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the applicable laws, rendering the declared result invalid, null and void; that the irregularities and illegalities in the election were substantial and affected its integrity, the result notwithstanding; that Uhuru Kenyatta was not validly declared as president-elect and that the declaration was invalid, null and void; and that the electoral commission should conduct fresh presidential elections in strict conformity with the constitution and applicable electoral laws within 60 days.

The Kenyan Court’s decision demonstrated the value of proactive adjudication. Prior to the elections, the 2011 Elections Act was amended to introduce the Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System. This was intended to be used in biometric voter registration and, on polling day, in voter identification as well as instantaneous transmission of election results from polling stations to the Constituency Tallying Center and the National Tallying Center. The transmission of results required the use of standard forms – Forms 34A and 34B – but in many instances the results were not transmitted in the manner required by law.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) gave no plausible explanation for this, while the petitioners alleged that the system had been hacked and results tampered with in favour of the incumbent. The Court appointed its own IT experts to assess the IEBC servers and report their findings. However the IEBC, in violation of the court order, declined to give the court-appointed IT experts access. The Court held that the failures by IEBC were a clear violation of the 2010 Constitution and the Elections Act (as amended). It raised serious doubt as to whether the election results could be said to be a free expression of the will of the people, as required by the Constitution. 

Perhaps the judgment’s greatest contribution to electoral jurisprudence in Africa was its correct application of the substantial effect rule. It held that elections are not just about numbers and that the quality of the entire process matters when gauging whether the result reflects the will of the people. In the words of the Court, “even in numbers, we used to be told in school that to arrive at a mathematical solution, there is always a computation path one has to take, as proof that the process indeed gives rise to the stated solution.”

Similar jurisprudence was applied in relation to Malawi’s 2019 presidential election petition. The Court found that election results forms, which were used to tabulate national figures, were pervasively altered unlawfully. Based on adduced evidence, it concluded that a substantial number of the official result sheets had results altered using correction fluid, popularly known as Tippex. The judgement reached was that the Electoral Commission had failed to preside over a free and fair election, that the electoral process was compromised and that it was conducted in a manner that violated electoral laws and the Constitution. It nullified the election and ordered a new election to be held within 150 days. The re-run saw opposition candidate Lazarus Chakwera win 58.6% of the vote to comprehensively defeat incumbent, and winner of the 2019 poll, President Peter Mutharika.

In terms of the threshold for the integrity of the election, Malawi’s High Court, followed the Kenyan precedent of 2017, in agreeing that it is not just numbers, but the quality of the electoral process that matter in determining the substantial effect of irregularities on election results. This is an important recognition that the judiciary must consider the context in which an election is held in order to determine if the will of the people could have been exercised freely.

Continuity…for now

The decisions reached in Kenya and Malawi demonstrate the capacity of what competent and courageous judges can do to enforce electoral rules. The judgments also pose a challenge to other African judges: will they follow in their footsteps or will they choose to hold fast to the archaic and pro status quo jurisprudence that has prevailed up to now?

Early indications suggest that continuity, rather than change, continues to prevail. Recent electoral decisions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia have continued to produce judgements that look for substantive effect on the outcome, and less on the process. In Uganda, a petition to challenge the outcome of the January 2021 presidential election was withdrawn over concerns about the judicial independence.  

Nonetheless, the verdicts handed down in Kenya and Malawi serve as landmark decisions, that over time will serve as a yardstick of contextually relevant presidential election jurisprudence in Africa. Both set a precedent that the quality of an election and the environment in which the election is held matter, and have a bearing on the outcome, regardless of numbers.   

Dr O’Brien Kaaba is a lecturer at the School of Law at the University of Zambia and a senior research fellow at the Southern Africa Institute for Policy and Research.

Editor’s note: This is the third article in a nine-part series in which leading thinkers and practitioners explore key questions and themes about the current state of electoral democracy in Africa. You can read the second and first piece.

Shafin Twitter Na Bogi Da Ke Alakanta Kansa Da Ma’aikatar Matasa Da Wasanni Ta Tarayya

By Fact Check, Uncategorized

Tushen Magana:

A ranar 17 ga watan Fabrairun shekara ta 2021, ayarin wasu yan kishin kasa sun janyo hankalin masu tantance sahihancin labarai da bankado labaran bogi na Cibiyar Bunkasa Demokaradiyya da Cigaba (CDD) game da wani shafin Twitter mai lakabin “Nigerian Youth Investment Fund” (NYIF_NGR) da ke ikirarin cewa shi wani tsari ne na bada tallafi ga sana’o’in matasa da gwamnatin tarayyara Najeriya ke goyon baya.

Masu lura da shafin sunyi kira ga wadan da ke bukatar tallafin fara sana’a su biya wasu kudade kafin samun tallafin.

Gaskiyar Magana:

Shafin Twitter wadda ake kira @NYIF_NGR shafi ne na bogi kuma bashi da alaka da ma’aikatar matasa da harkokin wasanni.

Binciken da CDD ta aiwatar ya gano cewa ma’aikatar matasa da bunkasa harkokin wasannin ba ta umarci masu neman kowane irin tallafi su biya kudi ba, dan haka da’awar @NYIF_NGR cewa a biya kudi karya ne.

Tsarin tallafawa matasa da jari da ma’aikatar matasa da bunkasa wasanni ta fito dashi ya kammala shirin somin-tabi a watan Yuli na shekarar da ta gabata inda mutane 239 suka amfana da N165,700,000.

Har wayau, CDD ta tuntubi mai taimakawa Ministan Matasa da Wasanni akan harkokin fasaha Areola Oluwakemi wanda ya bayyana cewa shafin Twitter din da ke neman mutane su biya kudi dan bas u tallafi shafi ne na bogi.

Oluwakemi ya kara da cewa: “wanda suka mallaki shafin kuma suke gudanar dashi na damfarar matasan Najeriya ne kawai”

Kammalawa:

Shafin Twitter wadda ake kira @NYIF_NGR shafi ne na bogi kuma bashi da alaka da ma’aikatar matasa da harkokin wasanni.

Shafin gaskiya na Twitter da ke bada bayanai game da harkokin matasa na gwamnatin tarayya shine @NYIF_NG.

CDD na jan hankalin jama’a da su tantance labarai ko sakonnin yanar gizo kafin amincewa ko aiwatar wani umarni. Mutane a kodayaushe su rika taka-tsantsan game da biya kudade ta hanyar yanar gizo musamman dan neman tallafi.

Kuna iya aikowa CDD labaran da kuke da shakku akansu dan tantance muku gaskiyar su ta hanyar aiko gajeren sako ko ta manhajar WhatsApp akan lamba: +2349062910568

#AgujiYadaLabaranBogi

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

GSS Kagara: CDD Calls For Unconditional Release Of School Children, Asks FG To Declare State Of Emergency On Security

By Uncategorized

Press Statement

February 17, 2021

Abuja, Nigeria

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on Wednesday, February 27, 2021, calls for the unconditional release of the students abducted from Government Secondary School (GSS) Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.

The call by the Centre follows reports on the abduction of an unconfirmed number of school children from GSS Kagara and some travellers in Niger State.

CDD urges the Federal Government to declare a State of Emergency on the ravaging insecurity across states of the nation.

The Centre also asks the Nigerian Government and all relevant security authorities to do everything within their power to ensure the rescue of all the abductees.

From Chibok to Dapchi to Kankara and now to Kagara. This callous act of abducting school children has to stop. Our children and their parents cannot continue to live in fear in their pursuit of education and a better life.

The continued abduction of school children from places of learning is evidence that the government has failed in this particular role to protect the people especially for the school children in states across the nation.

While our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the abducted ones, we call on the Nigerian government to rise to the occasion and ensure their unconditional release as the primary constitutional role of government at all level is to guarantee the protection of lives and property of citizens – school children inclusive.

“Nigeria has to come to terms that she has a huge security problem on her hands and act decisively. The country has to declare a state of emergency on insecurity across board. And must synergise efforts with our sub-nationals. There must an agreement for instance on no ransom, no amnesty policy as they fight with boots on the ground,” CDD Director Idayat Hassan says.

“The war needs both a kinetic and non-kinetic approach but the non-kinetic approach must not be one that priorities amnesty and paying bandits for their guns et al. The time is now, and this is serious, very serious actually,” Hassan adds.

She also laments that it is unfortunate that kidnapping school children have become the easiest way to get money from the government.

Hassan notes that: “The government must secure the school and urgently too, or else Chibok, Dapchi and Kankara school raids will encourage others to do worse.”

“Schools in general as it has become an easy target for criminals to extort monies used in prosecuting a war against the Nigerian state.”

The Centre says that government and all stakeholders need to assure every Nigerian child of his or her safety by making sure that requisite measures are put in place to ensure their safety.

CDD calls for improved efforts by the government to ensure that safety precautions are being taken to protect schools, not just those in conflict-affected areas but across states of the country.

Signed:

Idayat Hassan

Director

FACT-CHECK: Beware! There’s No NIN 5G Grant!

By Fact Check, Uncategorized

VERDICT: False

CLAIM:

On Sunday 31st January 2021, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a WhatsApp broadcast with the claim that the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) is giving out five (5) Gigabytes worth of data to verified mobile phone numbers.

The message titled: “NIN verification” claimed that the NIMC would be rewarding customers who have been using their SIM cards for more than three months 5G worth of data.

It read in part: “NIN VERIFICATION Check if Your number have [sic] been chosen by NIN to receive 5GB. As Part of the Verification REWARD Program for who [sic] have been using the sim for more than three months. ALL NETWORK USERS Deadline:30-01-2021 2021-2-29

Also attached to the message is a link that can be used by interested applicants for the verification process.

FACT:

Investigations carried out by CDD fact-checkers revealed that the claim is false. Checks showed that the link provided is a bait normally used by internet fraudsters to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.

Our fact-checkers found out that the link upon registration provides a three(3) way verification process where users are required to key in their numbers, share the same message on WhatsApp, and await their share of the said reward.

Further investigations by CDD revealed that the site promised applicants N10,000 in addition to the 5G data. It also provided a section for comments where previous beneficiaries give their “testimonies” – a method frequently used by fraudsters to defraud unsuspecting applicants of such scheme.

Further checks done by CDD, revealed that the National Identity Number portal has uploaded, a warning to the general public to beware of fake and unauthorized applications and site demanding NIN details.

CONCLUSION:

The claim that the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) is rewarding mobile number users with 5G worth of data and N10,000 grant is false. This is a method used by fraudsters to defraud people.

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity of stories before sharing them.

You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on Twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

FACT-CHECK: Did the FG Offer N100 billion to Miyetti Allah to stop Killings and Kidnapping?

By Uncategorized

VERDICT: FALSE

CLAIM:

On Sunday, 24 January 2021, a trending video on Twitter claimed that the Nigerian Government has offered the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) – an association of Fulani herdsmen –  N100 billion to stop the killings and kidnappings between herders and farmers in the country.

The video, a report by Roots TV, was first shared by the publisher of Ovation Magazine, Dele Momodu, on his Twitter page early Sunday morning.

The video was later reshared by a popular Twitter influencer, Kelvin Odanz (@MrOdanz) with the caption: ‘’The Nigerian Government is offering herdsmen N100 Billion so they can stop kidnapping and other criminal activities. N100 Billion Naira to a group that has kidnapped, killed and destroyed Livelihoods. Incredible’’

FACT:

Fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) can verify that the trending video posted by Mr. Kelvin and Dele Momodu is not recent. Our fact-checkers traced the video to Roots TV Nigeria’s YouTube Channel and found out that it was posted on May 14, 2019.

Also, the Presidency in various instances has debunked the claim that it offered the sum of N100 billion to MACBAN to bring an end to the kidnapping in the country as this is not the first time this claim will trend in the media in Nigeria.

On May 10, 2019, the exact claim went viral across social media and the mainstream media necessitating the Federal Government to debunk the news. The Special Adviser to the President on Media, Garba Shehu, during an interview with Channels Television on May 10, 2019, also debunked the claim.

In an interview with reporters in May 2019, the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu said N100 billion was never paid to herdsmen or the association by the Federal Government. A report filed by Roots TV, the same media house whose original video is trending now can be found on YouTube.

In its reaction to the claim, the cattle breeders association had said that it indeed demanded N100 billion from the FG some years ago but not from the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari.

MACBAN’s national secretary, Saleh Alhassan told Punch in May 2019 that the money demanded by his association at that time was not for amnesty but for the construction of ranches to ease their members’ businesses.

 “That is a mischievous statement (the claim). Do they pay money like that? Have they ever paid any money like that? That N100bn has been on the table for mini-ranches since 2014 when (former) President Goodluck Jonathan was trying to address the lingering crisis between farmers and herders.’’

Mr. Saleh went further to say the part of that money was used by state governors under the committee chaired by the then Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam. ‘’But I don’t think the bulk of the money has reached the pastoralists, the herders.’’

Why the video resurfaced

There is an ongoing media confrontation between the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, and the Federal Government of Nigeria over a 7-day quit notice issued by the Governor to unlicensed herders. The Governor had asked the herders to vacate forest reserves in the state to curb the spate of kidnappings in Ondo State, allegedly committed by criminals hiding in the forest.

Tracing the root of the N100 Billion

In 2014, the Federal Government under former President Goodluck Jonathan set up a Committee on Grazing Reserves under the Chairmanship of the former Governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswam.

The committee went on to recommend that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) provide N100 billion seed funds to assist states in establishing mini modern ranches across the federation.

Suswam, while briefing State House correspondents on October 26, 2014, after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, disclosed the plan by FG.

Also, in September 2019, the current Government under President Muhammadu Buhari resuscitated that plan at the height of the farmer/herder conflict across the Middlebelt area of Nigeria after it adopted National Livestock Transformation Plan. The Government said the plan was not targeted at only cattle but the entire animal husbandry sector in the country. The plan was disclosed by the Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, at the end of the National Economic Council meeting in Abuja.

Umahi said that under the plan, N100 billion will be spent with the federal government contributing 80 percent in grant, while states will contribute land, project implementation structure, personnel, and 20 percent cost of the project.

However, following the announcement, Nigerians on social media tagged the plan ‘RUGA Settlement plan’ leading to many citizens kicking against it and prompting the government to suspend its implementation.

CONCLUSION

The trending video with the claim the Federal Government offered N100 billion to Miyetti Allah to stop Killings and Kidnapping in the country is false and misleading.

The video is an old video from two years ago.

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity of stories before sharing them.

You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

A Kula Da Kyau! Ba Hukumar NIMC Ce Ta Samar Da Manhajar Da Ke Hada Bayanan Layin Waya Da Lambar NIN Ba

By Fact Check, Uncategorized

Tushen Magana:

Akwai wata manhaja da ake anfani da ita a wayar salula dake ikirarin cewa zata hada katin dan kasar mutum da kuma bayanan da ke kan layin wayar sa, wannan manhaja yanzu haka tana samun tagomashi a dandalin yanar gizo.

Wadan da suka kirkiri wannan manhaja sunyi ikirarin cewa manhajar zata warware matsalolin da mutane ke fuskanta wajen hada bayanan dake kan layin wayar su da na katin dan kasa, kuma mutane na iya yin rijistar lambar su ta NIN har ma da na layin waya, ana ma iya anfani da manhajar a cewar wadan da suka kirkire ta wajen samun bayani game da NIN.

Har wayau, makirkiran manhajar sunce tana saukaka yin rijistar layukan waya na MTN da Glo da 9Moblie ad Airtel dama hada bayanan wadannan layukan da lambar NIN.

Gaskiyar Magana:

Binciken da CDD ta aiwatar ya gano cewa manhajar da ke ikirarin hada bayanan layin waya da lamabar NIN din ba ta fito daga hukumar yiwa yan kasa katin shaida ba, hasali ma hukumar tayi gargadi ga jama’a game da manhajar.

A wani tsokaci da tayi ta shafin tan a Twitter (@nimc_ng), hukumar ta barranta kanta da manhajar inda tace yan danfara ne suka kirkiri ta dan tattara lambar NIN dama BVN din su.

“ba hukumar NIMC ko gwamnatin tarayya bace ta kirkiri manhajar. Wassu yan danfara ne suka kirikire ta dan biyan bukatun kansu dama zaluntan mutane ta hanyar samun muhimman bayanan su irinsu NIN da BVN”, a cewar NIMC.

Karin binciken CDD ya gano an tsara manhajar ta yadda zata debo bayanai daga kan wayoyin mutane.

Kammalawa:

Wata manhaja da aka kirikire ta kuma akayi ikirarin cewa za’a iya anfani da ita wajen hada bayanan layin waya da lambar NIN bata fito daga hukumar da ke yiwa jama’a katin dan kasa ba wato NIMC. Yanzu haka manhajar tana runbun ajiyar manhajoji na Google.

Dan haka CDD na jan hankalin jama’a da su kula da kyau kada su fada hannun bata gari ko yan danfara yayin yunkurin su hana bayanan layin wayar su da lambar NIN.

A kodayaushe ku tabbata kun tantance sahihancin labarai ko sakonni kafin yada su ga sauran jama’a.

#AgujiYadaLabaranBogi

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

CDD Loses Senior Fellow Professor Ebere Onwudiwe

By Uncategorized

Abuja

January 10, 2021

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) regrets to announce the passing of Professor Ebere Onwudiwe, who died on  Saturday, January 9, 2021.

Professor Onwudiwe until his death was a Distinguished fellow at the CDD. He contributed immensely to the Centre’s work in strengthening democracy in Nigeria and the West African region.

An Emeritus Professor, Onwudiwe served as a member of the Board of the Economic Advisers to the Nigerian President; a governance consultant with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; a consultant to the Federal Government-Constituted Technical Committee on the Niger Delta among many others.

Professor Onwudiwe will be greatly missed by the CDD family, friends and associates. Please, join as we pray for God to comfort his family and loved ones at this trying time.

Further announcement on his funeral arrangement will be made by his family.

For media enquiries, please contact cddabv@cddwestafrica.org cc nibeh@cddwestafrica.org or phone 08021476979

Signed

Kole Shettima

Chair