Fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on Saturday, May 2, 2020, spotted a WhatsApp broadcast claiming that inmates who have served for more than three years without trial would be released by the Kano State Command of the Nigerian Correctional Service.
The broadcast written in Hausa urged relatives to send details of inmates including case and court numbers to a number for further action based on “the directive issued by the President.”
The message reads: “Anybody that has a relative in any of the correctional centres in any of the prisons and the person has stayed for more than three years without trial, just send the case number and court number of the person so we can get them out as directed by the President. Send the details to this number 08067139558.”
CDD fact-checkers contacted the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Correctional Service Kano state command, DSC Musbahu Lawan Kofar, who debunked the claim.
Kofar said the message circulating on WhatsApp is the handiwork of fraudsters whose only intention is to dupe gullible Nigerians.
Kofar said: “As the public relations officer of the service in Kano I have been the one conveying information of the service and engaging with the public, and I have not given any announcement of that nature.”
He said the number on the said broadcast is not from the command neither is the entire announcement.
“In fact we have no idea who the user of that number is, we want the public to disregard the announcement as it did not originate from us,” Kofar added.
The announcement widely shared on WhatsApp urging relatives of inmates who have spent three years without trial at the Kano state Command Correctional Centre to send case number and court numbers to a certain phone number for their immediate release is fake.
CDD, therefore, urges the general public to disregard the announcement.