FACT CHECK: Are Wike, Fayose, Yakubu on US Visa ban list?

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CLAIM: A blogpost has gone viral on social media with the claim that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmoud Yakubu, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and former Governor Ayodele Fayose, among others are on a US visa ban list.

VERDICT: False!

FULL TEXT

Reactions are still trailing the 2023 general elections characterized by violence, manipulations and intimidation in parts of the country. Many on social media are calling on the international communities including the US and the UK to place visa bans on the alleged perpetrators of the electoral irregularities.

The United States have also vowed to place visa bans on individuals who attempt to undermine democracy in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, a blogpost that has gone viral on social media carries the following headline: “BREAKING: INEC chair, Wike, Fayose, MC Oluomo, FFK, others make US Visa ban list”, purporting that a visa ban has been placed on these individuals by the US.

Reactions to the post show that many believe it to be true.

VERIFICATION

A further reading of the post beyond the headline shows that this is false.

The blogger noted that some unknown persons were about to compile a list of “election riggers” and submit the same to the US authorities.

The first paragraph of the post reads:

“Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has made the list of Nigerians to be banned from getting United States of America Visa following his infamous role in the just concluded general elections.”

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“The list which was exclusively obtained by News Band Newspaper has governor Nysom Wike of Rivers State and his ally, former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, boldly captured on it over their criminal involvement during the elections.

“The list News Band Newspaper authoritatively gathered, will be submitted to the White House, US Congress, and State Department on Monday, April 3, 2023 for immediate action.”

Ripples Nigeria also found that the US is yet to publish any list with respect to its threat to place Nigerians who undermine democracy on visa ban.

CONCLUSION

Ripples Nigeria found that the headline of the post is a clickbait. The US is yet to impose a visa ban on the INEC chairman nor any of the individuals mentioned in the post.

By: Oluwatobi Odeyinka

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