TheCable’s top 10 fact checks of 2022

TheCable’s top 10 fact checks of 2022
January 04
10:38 2023

Typical of the thick political clime preceding the 2023 elections, 2022 was swarmed with claims from politicians, propagandists, citizen journalists, and social media influencers. TheCable thoroughly tackled these issues through rigorous fact checking. 

Here is a list of our top 10 fact-checks that resonated with our audience the most.

10. FACT CHECK: Did Sanusi author viral write-up on Atiku, Tinubu and Obi?

A write-up that analysed the motives of three presidential candidates in the 2023 elections was broadly shared on social media and was said to have been authored by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).


The publication claimed that Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has milked the country “well enough” and only wants to answer the title “president” at all costs. It also claimed that Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), only wants to fulfill his lifetime political ambition of being president and that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of Labour party, is a contended man, who has volunteered to save Nigeria from impending catastrophe by becoming the president in 2023.

When TheCable reached out to Sanusi, he disowned the viral statement. “The statement is not from me. It is fake,” Sanusi told TheCable.



9. FACT CHECK: Did Obi help secure clemency for Nigerians on death row in Singapore?

A post on social media claimed that five hundred thousand Nigerians on death row in Singapore had been released after Peter Obi’s intervention. The post was initially shared by a social media user, @DattiYusufahmed, who cloned the account of Datti Baba-Ahmed, the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party.

Using Yandex, a reverse image search on one of the pictures showing prisoners dressed in brown, looking out behind bars, revealed that the picture was taken at Rwanda’s Gitarama prison 5, where Hutu prisoners were kept.

TheCable also reached out to an official of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) who said the commission was not aware of such development. A further Twitter search showed that the official Twitter handle of the Labour Party’s vice presidential candidate is @dattibabaahmed and not @DattiYusufahmed. The posts have since been deleted.



8. FACT CHECK: Did Hollywood celebrities endorse Peter Obi as Charly Boy claimed?

A viral post on social media claimed that leading Hollywood celebrities endorsed Peter Obi, the presidential flagbearer of the Labour Party (LP), ahead of the 2023 elections.

Charles Oputa, also known as “Charly Boy” shared the video via his verified Twitter handle, @AreaFada1, to his 157k followers. Before Charly Boy deleted the tweet, it was broadly shared on WhatsApp. On Twitter, the video gathered over 221,000 views, 13,700 likes and 5,681 retweets.


Some celebrities in the video include; Ice Cube, Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Cruise, Doug Liman, Will Farell, Amy Poehler, Melissa McCarthy, Eve, Gerard Butler, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Terry Crews, 50cent, John Cena, Rowan Atkinson, Aaron Paul, Will Smith among others.

TheCable subjected the video to analysis on Invid, a video verification platform, to ascertain the validity of the video.


Findings revealed that some of the clips from the original videos have been existing on the internet as far back as 2016. A keyframe analysis of the video was further subjected to Google reverse image search. The result of the analysis led to and, where we found the original video which was doctored to mislead social media users. 

VERDICT: Misleading.


7. FACT CHECK: Is this viral photo of massive crowd from Osun PDP rally?

A photo showing a massive crowd purportedly from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rally in Osun state circulated on social media. The photo which gathered over 3, 900 likes, over 500 retweets and 552 comments was posted to buttress claims that the PDP’s final rally in Osun was a success.


Some unsuspecting Twitter users hailed the PDP and lauded the massive crowd that purportedly graced the rally.

TheCable subjected the photo to reverse image search using Labnol, a digital tool used to discover the source of a picture and visually similar images from the internet. It was discovered that the image was taken from Ilorin in Kwara state and not Osun as claimed. Further research revealed that the photo, taken at the Eid-el Kabir prayer held in Kwara, was first uploaded on July 9.

VERDICT: Misleading.

6. FACT CHECK: Did el-Rufai ask Tinubu to withdraw presidential ambition over old age?

Social media posts by Dele Momodu, publisher of Ovation Magazine, and director of strategic communications for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign, and Reno Omokri, claimed that Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, urged Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential flagbearer of the ruling party, to withdraw his presidential ambition due to old age. 

Momodu’s post gathered over 525 comments and 4, 669 likes and was viewed 72,200 times, while that of Omokri gathered 9,873 views. In the video shared by both parties, el-Rufai, speaking in Hausa, was alleged to have mocked Tinubu’s health. 

With the aid of InVID video verification tool, the video footage was traced to a 56 minutes Facebook Live broadcast where the governor responded to questions from journalists.

He was asked to clarify rumours suggesting that he would contest for Kaduna central senatorial seat, he responded by saying that he wasn’t interested in any position as he is 62 years old and becoming weak. 

The governor of Kaduna in the media chat was referring to his personal retirement plans and not Tinubu’s presidential ambition.


5. FACT CHECK: How accurate are Atiku’s claims at LCCI economic parley?

Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president and presidential flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), made multiple claims while presenting his economic plans at the 2022 edition of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) economic forum.

TheCable fact checked seven claims from Atiku’s presentation.

VERDICTS: Findings revealed that four of  Atiku’s claims were true, two were false and one was incorrect. 

4. FACT CHECK: Was Obi awarded best governor in health care in 2013?

Peter Obi, standard bearer of the Labour Party (LP), claimed he was awarded best governor in health care in Nigeria by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2013.

While reeling out his strides in the health sector as former governor at the Arise town hall meeting, Obi said his achievement as the best-performing governor in health care, speaks of his capacity to be president if elected.

Checks by TheCable showed that in 2013, Obi was awarded the best-performing governor on the eradication of polio in the south-east by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The award clearly signified that only south-east states were considered for the ranking, and the focus was specifically limited to state contribution to eradicating polio in the region.

VERDICT: Exaggerated and misleading.

3. FACT CHECK: Water level at Third Mainland Bridge not filled to the brim

A flooding advisory circulated online claimed that the water level at the third mainland bridge was almost filled to the brim.

On October 23, a blurry graphic design, containing an incident alert was purportedly released by Eons intelligence, a risk consulting and intelligence gathering organisation. Eons is well-known for publishing timely security and safety updates to Nigerians via its official website and social media pages.

Also, videos shared by popular celebrities including Kate Henshaw and Williams Uchemba claimed that the water level at the Third Mainland Bridge had increased tremendously. The claims were circulating at a time Nigeria was experiencing its worst flood in decades, which affected over two million citizens and killed over 600 people.

Checks by TheCable revealed that the first picture shared in the Facebook post had been on the internet far back as July 2020. In response to the claims, Tunji Bello, the state commissioner for the environment and water resources, described the trending video as “fake news” and advised social media users “against posting panicky messages to residents in order to create unnecessary anxiety amongst the public”.


2. FACT CHECK: How true are claims by Tinubu, Shettima about size of Lagos economy?

Kashim Shettima, the vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), claimed that Lagos is the third biggest economy in Africa. He made the claim while making a case for Bola Tinubu, his principal, and provided reasons why he believes Tinubu would stand out among other presidential candidates.

Shettima had previously made the same claim in a video posted on Twitter by Festus Keyamo, spokesperson of the APC presidential campaign council. 

In April 2022, Tinubu, while marketing himself in the run-up to the APC presidential primaries, said his administrative prowess as former governor of Lagos helped the state to become the largest economy in Africa.

TheCable checked the repeated claim by Shettima and Tinubu on the size of Lagos’ economy and discovered that the GDP of Lagos is often compared with other African countries as if it were a country.

Figures from the World Bank, extracted from the LBS, showed that the state is neither the third largest economy nor the largest economy in Africa. 


1. FACT CHECK: No, the US will not reject old dollar notes from Jan 2023

Multiple online reports claimed that by January 31, 2023, the United States dollar notes issued before 2021 will no longer be accepted as legal tender. The claim came over a week after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced the redesign of some naira notes including N200, N500 and N1,000 notes, which would be effective from mid-December 2022.

TheCable checked the official website of the US department of the treasury, the national finance and treasury office of the federal government, and found no such announcement.

The US Currency Education Programme which provides education, training, and information about federal reserve notes emphasised that “it is U.S. government policy that all designs of U.S currency remain legal tender, regardless of when they were issued”. 


This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.


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