- Claim: INEC has issued Osun PDP’s gov candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, Certificate of Return
- Source: News sites, Facebook, Twitter (Naijalivetv, others)
- Verdict; Checked, False: INEC hasn’t issued Osun PDP’s gov candidate Adeleke Certificate of Return
News site Naijalivetv claims Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC), has issued Certificate of Return to Senator Ademola Adeleke, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s candidate in the 2018 governorship election in Osun state – days after tribunal declared him (Adeleke) as the winner of the poll, sacking APC’s Governor Gboyega Oyetola.
The election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Friday, March 22, nullified the election of Oyetola and declared Adeleke winner of the 2018 governorship election.
The story was published on March 25, 2019, at 6.12pm and soon shared by several Facebook pages: Naija Must Work Again, Ogbia Local Government Council, MR IBU - John Okafor, and so on.
Other news sites such as gallantreporters.com and wetinhappen.com.ng and www.aigmediapro.tv, puoreports.com also published the story.
In the report, Naijalive tv writes: “Following the judgement of the Osun state election Petitions tribunal reinstating the PDP Governorship Candidate Senator Ademola Adeleke INEC has Issue (sic) Certificate of Return to Sen. Adeleke as Governor-Elect PDP Osun State.”
Another news site with the story, gallantreporters.com, claims the “tribunal had ordered the Interim Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, to vacate office within 72 hours”.
The post has so far gained not less than 202 shares, 710 reactions and 188 comments on Facebook
Naijalivetv also used a picture of Senator Adeleke holding a certain document (claimed to be INEC’s Certificate of Return) and flanked by four people to support the claim.
INEC debunks report
Nigeria’s electoral commission said it can only issue a Certificate of Return to Senator Adeleke only if Governor Oyetola does not appeal the judgment of the tribunal that sacked him within 21 days.
The commission, on Monday, March 25, debunked the claim that Adeleke had been issued a certificate of return, according to Leadership newspaper.
Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner and chairman, information and voter education committee, told Leadership: “Section 143(1) of the Electoral Act gives a candidate whose election is set aside a period of 21 days from the date of the decision to appeal against such a decision.
“The person is entitled to remain in office pending the determination of the appeal. The commission will only issue the certificate if appeal is not lodged within 21 days. The commission has not issued any new certificate in relation to Osun state."
Picture used to ‘show’ Adeleke has been issued Certificate of Return by INEC is at least 2 years old
Using RevEye Reverse Image Search, Legit.ng found that the image has been in circulation for at least two years.
In a July 12, 2017, news report by an online newspaper, bellanaija.com, it was used to illustrate the story headlined “Senator-elect Ademola Adeleke gets Certificate of Return”.
In the report, the newspaper writes: “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented the Certificate of Return to Senator-elect Ademola Adeleke after he was declared winner of the July 8, 2017 bye-election.
“Adeleke ran for the office under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“The seat was declared vacant after Adeleke’s elder brother Isiaka Adeleke died under mysterious circumstances a couple of weeks ago.”
The picture again showed up the same month, Tuesday 11th July 2017, on another online newspaper, Tori.ng, headlined “Osun By-Election: Jubilation as INEC Issues Certificate of Return to Ademola Adeleke (Photos)”
A further check traced the picture to the verified Twitter handle of INEC in a tweet, also in 2017, July 11, with the caption: “Breaking- INEC Presents Certificate Of Return to the Senator-Elect, Osun West Senatorial District, Otunba Ademola Adeleke N.”
The picture most likely appeared first on INEC’s official Twitter handle on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.
Thus, the RevEye image search has shown that the picture has been in use way before the 2019 tribunal judgment and its latest use is misleading.
Corroborating Legit.ng’s finding, Olasoji Adagunodo, the PDP chairman, Osun state chapter, wrote on Facebook:
“We appreciate the people of Osun State and Nigerians for their concern on the governorship election in Osun on September 22nd and the recent judgment of the Election petition Tribunal.
“Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke and our Party PDP believe in the rule of law and it's process for him to become the governor of Osun State and this we are going to follow to the end until the usurper is removed from office.
“The picture below was taken in 2017 when Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke emerged as Senator in Osun West Senatorial rerun election, it has nothing to do with the GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION.
“We don't want the public to be misled as the information has gone viral.”
The claim that INEC has issued Senator Adeleke a Certificate of Return as Osun state’s governor-elect is false.
The picture used alongside the claim has been in circulation at least two years before the tribunal judgment, making its latest use misleading.
Osun Election 2018: I will surely win this election - Senator Adeleke | Legit TV