Wait First is a flagship founded on a simple premise — everybody lies. Humans are lied to between 10-200 times a day while we tell one to two within the same period. And it’s so, so easy to do. All that’s needed is some burnt dodo stepped down with cold zobo, and breakfast is served.

While a lie’s a lie, all lies are not of equal standing. I mean, who hasn’t told a lie to get out of an awkward situation? Let’s see your hands. No hands? Figured.

On a larger scale, particularly during an election season like we’re in now, many people make claims which turn out false. Sometimes it’s unintentional. Sometimes they are deliberate. Unfortunately, social media is an amplifier, and fake news travels halfway around the world before facts wake up. 

If it wasn’t already obvious, fake news is bad because it can spread wide-scale panic, which can cause harm and undermine the democratic process.

Fake news comes in various formats like fabrication, manipulation, advertising and propaganda. The European Parliamentary Research Service, classifies fake news into three categories.

Mal-information: Information that’s based on reality, used to inflict harm on a person, organisation or country.

Dis-information: Information that’s false and deliberately created to harm a person, social group, organisation or country.

Mis-information: Information that’s false but not created to cause harm. 

For today’s launch of Wait First, we’ll look at recent claims that have made the rounds to check just how true, false or misleading they are. 

A true claim is fresh banana, an outrightly false claim is burnt dodo while a misleading one is cold zobo.

Are Votes in Anambra the Size of an LG in Kaduna?

On January 2, 2023, the governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai made an interesting claim in a TV interview. He was speaking on the chances of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party. El-Rufai said Obi was polling poorly and couldn’t win. 

He claimed, “The number of votes in Anambra is the size of one local government in Kaduna state. So all states are not equal.”

The good people at the Centre for Democracy and Development West Africa (CDD) fact-checked this claim. Here’s what they found.

“The evidence does not support El-Rufai’s position. As of February 6, 2023, INEC had not released the breakdown of registered voters per local government area.

However, the total number of registered voters in Anambra state is more than the total number of registered voters in the most populous local governments in Kaduna.

“By Kaduna’s own data, published by the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commissioner (KADSIEC) in 2019, the local government with the highest number of registered voters is Kaduna South, which had 361,357 registered voters.

“The number of registered voters in Anambra state is more than that of the most populous LGAs in Kaduna. According to the National Population Commission (NPC), the most populous LGAs in Kaduna are Igabi, Kaduna South, and Zaria.

“These highly-populated LGAs in Kaduna have less than 700,000 people each, less than the 2,656,437 eligible voters in Anambra.”

Verdict: El-Rufai’s claim is false and therefore burnt dodo.

Did the Supreme Court give a unanimous judgment in the Lawan vs Machina case?

On February 6, 2023, Channels TV political correspondent Seun Okinbaloye broke the news that the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favour of Senate President Ahmed Lawan. The long-drawn legal battle between Lawan and Bashir Machina was over who the rightful senatorial candidate representing Yobe north is.

Okinbaloye tweeted,” Senate President Ahmed Lawan is back on the ballot after (an) intense legal battle with Mr Bashir Machina. Machina lost to Lawan at the Supreme Court in a unanimous judgment in the contest for the ticket of the party as Yobe North Senatorial Candidate.”

So what’s the verdict on this claim?

While it’s true the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Lawan, the verdict was not unanimous. The Supreme Court had five justices rule on the matter and came to a split decision. They ruled 3-2 in favour of Lawan. This claim by Uncle Seun is, therefore, cold zobo.

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