Last week, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) received numerous requests to fact-check some of the trending stories for the week. Among them was a claim published by the Independent Newspaper – now retracted – although already circulated by other online news outlets.
At the moment, the CDD is yet to independently verify the claims contained in the reports which have become the subject of online debate since the past week.
The CDD as a Think Tank with the vision and mandate to strengthen democracy and democratic institutions and values in Africa has been involved in researching and countering false information and narratives in West Africa since 2018. We have published 100s of fact-checks countering health misinformation, beginning from Ebola, to general and off-circle elections in Nigeria, Burkina Faso and others.
The Centre continues to implore members of the public to always verify every information before sharing them because it is clear that the spread of false information is capable of threatening our democracy, peaceful coexistence and development.
For instance, on Monday, April 12, 2021, fact-checkers at the CDD spotted a tweet made by a Twitter user @UchePOkoye with a picture of a young man, Salim Sani Zakariyya, and some inscription that read “Wanted, Boko Haram Suspect”.
Okoye’s tweet followed NewsWireNGR’s version of the story on the controversial piece on Pantami by the Daily Independent.
An investigation conducted by CDD shows that Salim Sani Zakariyya is not a Boko Haram suspect. A check through the list of Boko Haram suspects released by the Nigerian Military in the past shows that the young man was not listed as a suspected terrorist as claimed by Okoye in his tweet.
CDD’s investigation found that the Twitter user (@UchePOkoye) used Zakariyya’s profile picture from his Twitter handle to tag him as “Wanted Boko Haram Suspect” after Salim reacted to his tweet.
CDD REPORTS FOR THE WEEK
CDD IN THE NEWS
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
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