On February 16, 2023, Nigerians were all over the place regarding a claim made by the House of Representatives Majority Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhassan Doguwa.
Doguwa, speaking after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, addressed the issue of the scarcity of the new naira notes.
[Alhassan Doguwa, to President Muhammadu Buhari’s right. Channels TV]
He said, “A member of the House of Representatives is expected by law to have not more than ₦70 million to conduct his elections and whatever logistics and other things. ₦70 million cash, by law.”
On the Wait First flagship, we rate claims into three categories. We rate a valid claim as fresh banana. We rate a false claim as burnt dodo. A misleading claim is cold zobo.
What’s the status of this claim?
To answer that, let’s look at the Electoral Act 2022, which guides the conduct of elections in Nigeria.
The relevant section that pertains to campaign financing is Section 88, titled “Limitation on election expenses.” See the screenshot below:
The part that concerns us is subsection 4. “The maximum amount of election expenses to be incurred by a candidate in respect of Senatorial and House of Representatives seat shall not exceed ₦100,000,000 and ₦70,000,000 respectively.”
However, there’s nowhere in the Act that says a candidate must have “hard copy” cash to do this.
Verdict: The law provides a ₦70 million limit for campaign expenses related to House of Representatives positions, that is, from the commencement till the end of campaigns. However, Doguwa’s claim that it must be in cash is misleading. You’ll not find colder zobo anywhere else.
Did the Finnish government issue a letter to Simon Ekpa regarding the Nigerian elections?
A viral letter made the rounds recently on social media. It claimed to have come from the Finnish government. The letter targeted Simon Ekpa, a Nigerian secessionist based in Finland. Ekpa has links to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). It said the Finnish government would charge him with terrorism if he didn’t cease a sit-at-home order in the South East on election day.
ALSO READ: Who’s This Simon Ekpa Guy Running IPOB?
So how true is it?
The fact checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD West Africa) looked into the letter. Here’s what they found:
“CDD War Room contacted the Finnish Embassy in Nigeria, and we were informed that the letter is not an official correspondence of the Finnish government.
“An official spokesperson of the Finnish government in Nigeria said the embassy has contacted Twitter to remove the letter from the micro-blogging platform.”
Verdict: Do you still need us to spell it out? Na burnt dodo. We hope you didn’t fall for it.