Fact-Check: Is INEC Investigating Tinubu Over US Court Document on Drug Trafficking Allegations?
Claim: A press release purportedly issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is widely circulated on Social Media, especially on WhatsApp and Facebook claiming that the Electoral body will investigate court documents which allegedly indicted the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu over drug dealings in the United State (US), to establish if the offence contradicts the INEC electoral act 2022.
Full Text: Following a recent controversy over a 53-page certified document released by a US court which indicated that presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu entered a plea bargain in which he voluntarily agreed to forfeit his assets to American authorities in 1993 instead of going to trial, a press release allegedly issued by INEC vowed to investigate the facts of the matter.
In the release titled, “Certified True Copy of Order of Criminal Forfeiture Against APC Presidential Candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the United State,” which was purportedly signed by INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye Esq., said INEC’s attention had been drawn to news making the rounds on the matter.
While stating that it is currently liaising with the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois to establish the facts about the case before taking a decision, the purported statement from the INEC further stated that: “we are also studying the judgment to determine whether offences which contradicts the INEC guidlines and Electoral Act 2022 has been committed.”
In conlusion, it promised to expedite the process and communicate result and decision within ten working days from the date the release was issued.
Verification: To verify the authenticity of the release, PRNigeria reached out to Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to the Hon. Chairman INEC, but no response. It then shared a copy of the release to his WhatsApp for verification but he was yet to open and reply to it as at press time.
However, a statement issued on Saturday by Mr Festus Okoye, Chairman, INEC information and voter education committee, who alleged issued the statement denied the release.
He said the document claiming the commission was investigating the US case on Tinubu was “fake”.
“A Press Release purported to have been issued by the Commission has been trending online since yesterday Friday 11th November 2022,” the statement reads.
“It claims that the Commission has commenced investigation into a case of criminal forfeiture against one of the Presidential candidates in the forthcoming General Election and is liaising with a Court in the United States of America in pursuit of same to determine possible violation of our guidelines or the Electoral Act 2022.
“We wish to state categorically that the said Press Release did not emanate from the Commission nor is it pursuing the purported course of action. It is the handiwork of mischief makers and utterly fake.
“Press Releases from the Commission are uploaded to the INEC Press Corps platform and simultaneously disseminated through our website and official social media handles.
“The public is advised to ignore the press release.”
Conclusion: Mr Festus Okoye, INEC’s Chairman information and voter education committee who allegedly signed the press release on Tinubu’s case in US has denied and debunked the document as Fake. PRNigeria therefore conclude that the claim is FALSE.
Kidnapped School ChildrenYauri FGC Students, Kebbi
524 days 23 hours 41 minutes 36 seconds,
Baptist School Students, Kaduna
507 days 1 hour 23 minutes 1 second
Tegina Islamiya Pupils, Niger (Freed)
Report By: PRNigeria.com