UPDATED: Is Peter Obi the first presidential candidate to give an account of his campaign expenses?

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AN X handle @Igbohistofacts has claimed that Peter Obi is the first Nigerian presidential candidate to publicly give account of his election campaign funds.

The post read:

Peter Obi, today became the first ever presidential candidate in the history of Nigerian democracy to publicly give account for his campaign funding.

The claim which was posted on February 15, 2024 had garnered over 300,000 views, 17,000 likes, and more than 5,600 reposts as of Sunday, February 25, 2024.

Media outfits reported on February 15, 2024 that the Labour Party’s presidential candidate gave account of the campaign funds that was raised and spent by his campaign organisation, Obi/Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation, during the 2023 presidential campaigns.

Aisha Yesufu, who is the chairman of the campaign organisation, while speaking at the public presentation of the fundraising report, said a total of N595,976,994.00 was raised by Nigerians for the Labour Party’s presidential campaign.

 

CLAIM

Peter Obi is the first presidential candidate to publicly give account of his campaign finances.

 

THE FINDINGS

Checks by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE!

Screenshot of the claim posted on X; INSERT: False verdict.
Screenshot of the claim posted on X; INSERT: False verdict.

The Electoral Act requires political parties to provide their financial reports to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at predetermined intervals in order to prevent the election process from becoming unduly monetised.

In April 2019, Omoyele Sowore who was the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) disclosed the account of the funds solicited from the public for his campaign activities.

His campaign organisation, the Sowore 2019 Campaign Organisation revealed that it had spent a grand total of N157,884,936.98 for its campaign activities for Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election.

Further findings revealed that Oby Ezekwesili also made her campaign finances public in 2019 before that year’s general election.

Ezekwesili, who was a former minister of education, contested for the presidential seat in 2019 under the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN).

In February 2019, The Guardian reported that despite pulling out of the presidential race a month to the poll, Ezekwesili made the breakdown of her expenses public. According to the report, she spent a total sum of N48 million from October 1, 2018 to February 2, 2019.

Similarly in June 2023, Sowore also gave a breakdown of his party’s campaign expenses during the 2023 general elections where he was also the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC).

TheCable reported that Sowore made this in a statement released by the Sowore Political Action Committee (SPAC) while also tasking other presidential candidates to do same.

 

THE VERDICT

The claim that Peter Obi is the first presidential candidate to publicly give account of his campaign finances is FALSE; both Omoyele Sowore, the AAC presidential candidate and Oby Ezekwesili, the ACPN presidential candidate had made their campaign finances public prior to Peter Obi’s own.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The findings have been updated to include Oby Ezekwesili as evidence shows public disclosure of her campaign finances.

Fact-checker at The FactheckHub | [email protected] | + posts

Seasoned fact-checker and researcher Fatimah Quadri has written numerous fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy pieces for The FactCheckHub in an effort to combat information disorder. She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected].

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