LIVE-CHECK: Governorship polls hold in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi today

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The electorate in 3 States of the Nigerian federation will today elect their respective state’s chief executives in an off-cycle governorship election. The states are Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi.

All 18 registered political parties in Nigeria are fielding a combined 51 governorship candidates in the 3 states in today’s election. 48 of them are male while 3 are female.

The Nigerian Fact-checkers’ Coalition (NFC) brings you live-check of election-related misinformation and disinformation spreading online and on television on the Election Day.


Do you have an election-related claim you want us to fact-check?

Send it to the NFC via HERE.

This page is constantly being updated with verified checks. Kindly scroll downward to read the checks.

READ: 2023 Off-cycle elections: Claims fact-checked ahead of Nov. 11 governorship polls


Our team of researchers, fact-checkers, social media monitors, editors, misinformation & disinformation experts drawn from the coalition partners, are working from the coalition’s Election Situation Rooms located in Abuja and Lagos, to debunk misinformation and disinformation contents targeted at inciting violence and voter’s apathy on Election Day or influencing the outcome of elections.

Here are the live-checks:


Claim 16

CLAIM: Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State said, “When I came in 2020, we had an internally generated revenue profile of less than N500 million.”

FINDING: Internally generated revenue for states published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that Imo state’s internally generated revenue in 2019 was N16.095 billion, an average of N1.34 billion monthly. Between October and December 2019, the state generated N2.99 billion, an average of N996.67 million. It generated N3.08 billion from January to March 2020, an average of N1.03 billion monthly.

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCES: NBS

DATE: 10/11/2023

FACT-CHECK AUTHOR(s): ALLWELL OKPI

EDITORS:  DAVID AJIKOBI & SIMBIAT BAKARE


Claim 15

STATE: Imo

CLAIM: A Twitter user @ChidiOdinkalu claims that IReV passwords to be used by  Assistant Presiding Officers (APOs) have been retrieved from LGA supervisors in Imo state without reason.

FINDING: Mary Nkem, the Director of Voter Education and Publicity, told the NFC that the claim is untrue. She said Presiding Officers (POs) and not APOs are responsible for uploading results on the IReV. According to her, all passwords have been “securely released” for use by designated officials in line with the commission’s guidelines.

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCES: Director, Voter Education and Publicity Mary Nkem

DATE: 11/11/2023


Claim 14

STATE: Kogi

CLAIM: PDP gubernatorial candidate Senator Dino Melaye tweeted a press statement that the LP and PDP have formed an alliance in Kogi and have resolved to adopt him as the candidate for both parties.

FINDING: The LP spokesperson Yinusa Tanko debunked it. In a phone interview, he told DUBAWA that he was unaware of such an alliance. There is also no such press release on the LP’s website or social media pages.

VERDICT: Incorrect

SOURCES: LP spokesperson Yinusa Tanko

DATE: 11/11/2023


Claim 13

STATE: Kogi State

CLAIM: An X (Twitter) user @TheSerahIbrahim claimed that the results sheet has already been filled in Kogi state while elections are yet to begin.

FINDING:  According to news reports by Daily Trust and Leadership Newspapers, YIAGA Africa had raised the alarm of discovered pre-filled election results from the Eni ward of Ogori/Mangogo and Eika/Ohizenyi, Okehi LGA of the state on X while calling on INEC to investigate the issue. INEC also confirmed the incident via a post on X

VERDICT: Correct

SOURCES: Daily Trust, Leadership and Yiaga Africa

DATE: 11/11/2023


Claim 12

STATE: Imo state

CLAIM: An X user, Nwa (@nwaadaz), claimed that according to TCT News, the Imo state governor, Hope Uzodinma, killed more than 500 youths in his first tenure.

FINDING:  Over 400 deaths through violence were recorded in Imo between Jan. 2019 and Dec. 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, more than 25 fatalities were recorded. There was insufficient evidence to prove the number of youth fatalities within Uzodinma’s first term; however, no death reports were attributed to him. There is also no news platform called TCT News.

VERDICT: Incorrect

SOURCES: Foundation for Partnership  Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND)

DATE: 11/11/2023


Claim 11

STATE: Imo state

CLAIM: An X user, Sonia (unahsonia), shared some pictures of a burnt vehicle and claimed that it was the result of electoral violence sponsored by the Imo state governor, Hope Uzodinma.

FINDINGS: We ran a reverse image search on both pictures and discovered the incident is not recent. It happened around 8 am on Oct. 2, 2023, at Ezzangbo junction along Abakaliki Enugu highway, Ohanukwu LGA, Ebonyi state.

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCES: Google Lens

DATE: 11/11/2023


Claim 10

STATE: IMO

CLAIM: A video shared by Facebook user @ONYII NWA IMO claimed that Imo voters have resorted to staying indoors as only a few people are at different polling units in Owerri, the state capital.

FINDING: Tunde Ososanya, a BBC Reporter covering the election in Imo, in a telephone conversation, confirmed that the incident of low voter turnout in Owerri and other parts of Imo State is true. He noted that the low turnout might be tied to heavy security presence in the state. This was also corroborated by Mark Adebayo, spokesperson of the Coalition of Political Parties in Nigeria, in an interview with TVC news.

VERDICT: CORRECT

SOURCES: BBC Reporter Tunde Ososanya & Spokesperson of the Coalition of Political             Parties in Nigeria Mark Adebayo, in an interview with TVC news.

DATE: 11/11/2023


Claim 9

STATE: Bayelsa State

CLAIM: Morris Monye, a prominent Labour Party member, claimed on X there was a bomb blast near INEC Road in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, involving explosives.

FINDING:  We searched for this on credible media platforms covering the election but none published such. The police PRO said there was indeed an explosion in Kpansia (over a kilometre away), earlier in the week but not at INEC Road as claimed.

VERDICT: Misleading

SOURCES: Google, Bayelsa police

DATE: 11 – 11 – 23

CLAIM LINK: https://x.com/Morris_Monye/status/1722949569946820873?s=20


Claim 8

STATE: Imo State

CLAIM: An X user claimed security operatives intercepted a Labour Party chieftain with money and voting materials at Isiala Mbano LGA of Imo State.

FINDING: The NFC contacted the Imo police spokesperson, Henry Okoye, who said the claim was false. We observed that the images used by the claimant had been taken from various unrelated incidents in the past. A Google reverse image search on the first image showing a bag of money revealed that the image was taken from the 2019 election in Benue and the fourth during the 2023 elections.

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCES: Imo police spokesperson; The Guardian; ICIR

DATE: 11/11/2023

FACT-CHECK AUTHOR(s): Elizabeth Ogunbamowo


Claim 7

STATE:  Kogi state

CLAIM: The governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello, claimed that the reports of electoral violence under his leadership are untrue.

FINDING: The Centre for Democracy and Development, in its 2019 post-election document after an off-cycle poll conducted in Kogi, reported ten deaths and 79 cases of violence and election malpractices across the 21 LGAs in the state. There were also recorded cases of violence, such as the kidnapping of INEC officials and an attack on SDP candidate Murtala Ajaka in the build-up to the ongoing election.

VERDICT:  INCORRECT

SOURCES: CDD and media reports

DATE: 11/11/2023


Claim 6

STATE: Kogi State

CLAIM: Parallel Facts on Twitter claimed that INEC officials dispatched to various polling units in Lokoja were stranded at the Ajayi Crowther Memorial School Lokoja.

FINDING: The NFC contacted Premium Times and People Gazette reporters, who both confirmed that although voting is ongoing in the various polling units in Lokoja, there was a delay in the transportation of the INEC officials from the school earlier.

VERDICT: CORRECT

SOURCES: Premium Times and Peoples Gazette reporters

DATE: 11/11/2023


Claim 5

STATE: Bayelsa

CLAIM: After casting his vote in Bayelsa on Saturday, Former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan claimed that seven Nigerian states hold off-cycle elections.

FINDING: Eight states in Nigeria operate on an off-cycle calendar owing to election petition tribunal rulings. The states include Anambra, Ondo, Edo, Bayelsa, Kogi, Osun, Ekiti, and Imo.

VERDICT: Incorrect

SOURCES: Civic Hive and CDD

DATE: 11/11/2023


Claim 4

STATE: Bayelsa State

CLAIM: Using an image to corroborate his claim, an X user, @DEMAN004, tweeted that armed thugs recently invaded polling units in Bayelsa, in which they hijacked election materials and threatened voters and INEC officials.

FINDING: We analysed the picture with TinEye, a reverse image search engine tool, and discovered that the photo the claimant used to depict the violence is from 2019.

VERDICT: Misleading

SOURCES: TinEye

DATE: 11 – 11 – 23

CLAIM LINK: https://x.com/DEMAN004/status/1723295053848719793?s=20


Claim 3

STATE: Kogi State

CLAIM: Dino Melaye, Kogi PDP governorship candidate, claims INEC officials have filled result sheets ahead of voting, resulting in people’s refusal to vote in the Ogori-Magongo local govt area of Kogi state.

FINDING: YIAGA (election observer group) had raised alarm over pre-recorded election sheets in favour of the APC as reported by Daily Trust and Leadership newspaper and Ogori-Magongo was mentioned as part of the affected local government. INEC said in a statement on its X handle, saying its senior officials had been deployed to the state to investigate this.

VERDICT: Correct

SOURCES: Leadership, Daily Trust newspaper and INEC

DATE: 11/11/2023


Claim 2

STATE: Imo State

CLAIM: An X user claims Labour Party is winning in Imo State in the current governorship election

FINDING: The post has a result sheet from a polling unit in the state, but that is not enough to reach the conclusion that the Labour Party is currently winning in the state. Results are still being collated on the INEC collation website, so it can’t be proven that the Labour Party is winning.

VERDICT: Unproven

SOURCES: Independent verification

DATE: 11/11/2023


Claim 1

STATE: Imo State

CLAIM: Several Facebook users claimed that security operatives in Imo state arrested Akarachi Amadi, a lawmaker representing Mbaitoli and Ikeduru federal constituency. The posts claimed Amadi was arrested after he allegedly led a group of people to hijack election materials in the area.

FINDING: The NFC contacted Henry Okoye, the Imo police spokesperson. Mr Okoye dismissed the report but promised to provide further details after his findings. A quick keyword search also showed no credible media houses had reported the event.

VERDICT: INCORRECT

SOURCES: Imo Police Spokesperson

DATE: 11/11/2023

 

 

 

 

Nigerian Fact-checkers' Coalition

*This live-check was jointly researched and written by members of the Nigerian Fact-Checkers’ Coalition (NFC): Nurudeen Akewushola, Fatimah Quadri (FactCheckHub); Rosemary Ajayi (Digital Africa Research Lab); Daniel Adaji, Farida Salifu (NatureNews); Elizabeth Ogunbamowo, Lois Ugbede, Cole Praise, Temilade Onilede, Lateef Sanni, Sunday Awosoro, Philip Anjorin, Lade Aborisade, Maxine Danso (Dubawa); Catherine Adeniyi, Allwell Okpi, Fatimah Abubakar, Muktar Balogun, Semilore Adelola, Denzel Amobi, (Africa Check); Faruk Shuaibu (Daily Trust); Rejoice Ewodage, Hannah Ajakaiye (FactsMatterNG); Claire Mom (The Cable); Temiloluwa Erinle, Alefia Friday James, Muyiwa Adekojede (RoundCheck); Theophilus Adedokun; Shehu Olayinka, Blessing Otoibhi (ICIR).

It was edited and approved for publication by Kemi Busari, Simbiat Bakare (Dubawa), Motunrayo Joel, David Ajikobi (Africa Check), Ajibola Amzat (CCIJ), Opeyemi Kehinde (FactCheckHub) and Bamas Victoria (ICIR).

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