False claims attributed to European Union delegation, NDI/IRI election observers circulate onlineBy Fatimah Quadri on March 4, 2023
A joint press statement attributed to the European Union (EU) delegation and the NDI/IRI Election Observation Mission to Nigeria calling for the stepping down of the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu and a review of the results of the just-concluded Nigeria’s 2023 presidential and national assembly elections has circulated online.
The statement, attributed to the EU in Nigeria, also called for the disqualification of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election, days after the electoral umpire declared him as the President-elect.
The press release stated that if the President-elect is sworn-in, the citizens of Nigeria would have no say in their appointed leaders’ national policies and the future of their nation and the EU, NDI, IRI and other international democratic advocates and election observers will be in agreement to classify Nigeria as a failing democracy.
The statement has been circulating on various social media platforms including Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook.
A tweep, @vicdubem, tweeted the alleged press statement on March 3, 2023 with a caption thus:
The @EUinNigeria, @NDI and @IRIglobal seem to be in agreement.
The European Union issued a joint press statement with NDI and IRI calling for sanctions on the INEC chairman and the President-elect following the conduct of Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election.
Findings by the FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.
A close look at the press statement shows that it wasn’t duly signed by any relevant official – either the Chief Observer or the EU press officer.
In a brief response to the FactCheckHub inquiry on Friday, Agnes Doka, the Press Officer to the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, debunked the claim.
“I want to let you know that this news is false, and it is in no way true,” the texts sent via WhatsApp read.
The @EUinNigeria also debunked the press statement via their official Twitter handle as seen below:
Fake News, Beware!! pic.twitter.com/KKdwd1H025
— EU in Nigeria 🇪🇺🇳🇬 (@EUinNigeria) March 3, 2023
The claim that the EU issued a joint statement with NDI and IRI calling for sanctions on the INEC chairman and Nigeria’s President-elect is FALSE; the EU delegation debunked it.