The recently released “European Union Election Observation Mission NIGERIA 2023 Final Report” listed Keyamo and Fani-Kayode among well-known figures who misled the public with false information before and during the general elections.
According to the report, there was a surge in misleading information in the days leading up to the elections, with false reports being spread by prominent personalities associated with political parties.
The report specifically cited instances where Keyamo and Fani-Kayode, who served as spokespersons for presidential candidate Bola Tinubu’s campaign team, propagated fake news during their campaigns.
On February 12, Keyamo shared information from a suspicious website, falsely accusing Peter Obi of bribery. The story quickly went viral but was debunked within hours, as stated in the EU report.
“On 12 February, Festus Keyamo from APC promoted information published by a suspicious website, accusing Peter Obi of bribery. The story quickly became viral and was in a few hours debunked,” the report noted.
Furthermore, Keyamo was found to have circulated photos of a Chicago festival to misrepresent the turnout of supporters at Tinubu’s campaign rally in Sokoto, as reported by the Peoples Gazette.
Fani-Kayode, a former aviation minister and member of the APC party, claimed on February 11, 2023, that PDP presidential candidate Abubakar had a secret meeting with serving military generals in Abuja. He accused Atiku of inciting chaos and attempting to establish an unconstitutional order. Fani-Kayode shared these claims across multiple social media platforms, garnering 281.2k total impressions. The following day, he posted that the Army had denied reports of a meeting with Atiku.
Responding to the EU report, Keyamo brushed off its significance in determining the legitimacy of the government, stating that such power and responsibility lie with the judiciary.
The EU observers debunked claims that the 2023 general elections were free, fair, and credible. They expressed concern over the killing of 74 people and criticised the Nigerian police for attacking journalists while turning a blind eye to political thugs who disrupted the polls.
It is worth noting that the federal government, led by Bola Tinubu, rejected the EU’s verdict on the elections, disagreeing with the imposition of foreign standards and judgments on the credibility and transparency of Nigerian elections.
The government maintained that the 2023 elections, particularly the presidential election won by President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), were not only credible and peaceful but also the best organised since 1999.