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FACT CHECK: Video shared by former NHRC boss Odinkalu on Edo poll is old, misleading

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A video showing suspected political thugs has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Twitter alongside a claim that there is a “War in Edo” ahead of the governorship election on Saturday. The claim, however, is false; and the video has circulated online since 2019.

The video was published here on Twitter on September 16, 2020 by a former Chairman of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission Chidi Odinkalu. It has been viewed more than 2,000 times and shared some 77 times.

The two minutes 2-second clip shows some suspected thugs laid down by security operatives, while one of them claimed that they were mobilised by one Tony Kabaka, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State.

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Odinkalu also caption the video as “#EdoDecides2020 was meant to be an election? It is anything but…..”

However, a reverse image search on Google using video keyframes found a video of the same scene longer than Odinkalu’s video published here on a YouTube channel on March 7, 2019.

The description the video on YouTube reads: “Since yesterday March 6, 2019, we have been receiving videos from Akwa Ibom State, alleging over hundred thugs from Benin, Edo state Nigeria were been intercepted at Akwa Ibom border and they were later arrested by SARS officers at Akwa Ibom border. This is the moment some of the thugs confessed to Police SARS the names of the persons who send them to Akwa Ibom State to disrupt Saturday elections in Akwa Ibom State. And the names of the persons they confessed are Toni Kabaka and APC National Chairman, Adams Oshomohle from Benin Edo State, Nigeria.”

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Apparently, the video was taken during the build-up of the Akwa Ibom governorship election between Nsima Ekere of All Progressives Congress and the incumbent governor, Udom Emmanuel, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in March 2019 and not the Saturday, September 19, Edo gubernatorial election between Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Godwin Obaseki.

Ize-Iyamu is running under the APC, while the incumbent governor Obaseki is running for re-election on the platform of the PDP, after being denied renomination by the APC. This is arising from his fall out with his successor, Adams Oshiomhole, who was then the national chairman of the party.

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Verdict: The claim that there is a war in Edo State based on the content of the video is false. While the suspected political thugs in the video claimed that were hired to scuttle the election, it is misleading for Odinkalu to claim that the election is the Edo governorship election holding on Saturday.


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