In a bid to ensure a successful by-election in the Assin North constituency devoid of mis-disinformation, DUBAWA, in collaboration with the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana and Coalition for Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), is providing a live fact-checking of controversial and suspicious claims that may go viral in the election.
Three contestants, including James Gyakye Quayson, the incumbent MP whose election in the 2020 Parliamentary contest had been declared null and void due to his allegiance to Canada, are seeking the mandate of the people to finish the remaining 18 months of the parliamentary term. The two others are Charles Opoku representing the governing New Patriotic Party, and the Liberal Party of Ghana’s (LPG) Bernice Enyonam Sefenu.
The IGP has made it clear that elections security is the responsibility of the Police. So what duties will the 500 soldiers deployed and on their way to Assin North be performing tomorrow? Is this deployment at the request of the IGP? Somebody must provide urgent answers.
DUBAWA first contacted the claimant, Kwame Governs Agbodza, Member of Parliament of Adaklu, to provide the source for his claim. When he was asked to provide the source, he said: “I am busy in the constituency right now. I will call you back.” He hung up immediately after that.
DUBAWA proceeded to the military High Command to discover if military men were deployed. The researcher spoke to the Director of PR, Captain GN Larbi, who said; “It’s false. Military men have not been deployed in Assin North. Just like the Kumawu by-election, GAF did not deploy any troops.”
DUBAWA then contacted journalists and observers from the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana in the ongoing by-elections to find out if they have seen military officers playing any role at all in the elections. All the journalists and observers DUBAWA spoke to denied seeing military officers in the areas they have been to so far.
A man clad in military paraphernalia was arrested by the police for impersonation, as captured in the video here.
Author: Nathan Gadugah
A 24-second video on social media featured an electorate in the Assin North by-election claiming to have received GHC 100.00 from the National Democratic Congress. It was forced to take an oath to vote for them. The post also said the electorate vowed to vote against the NDC in the by-election.
DUBAWA Ghana finds the post misleading and the caption containing untruths. In the original video, posted by Accra-based UTV Ghana, the electorate said he was induced by the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party.
Although he said that he was made to take an oath, the electorate did not indicate which of the two leading parties was responsible for making him take the oath. Again, he did not mention the party he would vote for in the election.
“I have received GHC 300. I gained GHC 200 from NPP and 100 from NDC but one of them has invoked a curse I do not tolerate. The monies being distributed are all from corruption-related activities. We are all corrupt in this country, so why would you want to curse me for receiving your money earned through stealing.”
When asked by the reporter whom he was going to vote for, he said, “I will vote, but I know who I will vote for,” he said in the 40-second video posted by UTV Ghana on Twitter.
Author: Jeffery Nyabor
Claim: Sampson Ahi was caught sharing money for votes.
Sampson Ahi, Member of Parliament for Bodi Constituency, in a Twitter post, was purported to have been caught sharing money with voters in the Assin North election.
The post, shared by @Jojo_stephen on Twitter, has gone viral.
In a conversation, Mr Ahi, told DUBAWA he was acting as a Lead prompter at Methodist Primary School (2), Breku. According to him, the book shown in the photo was the NDC Branch Register, and he was cross-checking to discover who among the NDC branch in Assin North was yet to vote.
Ahi said, “I was just trying to tick. You know there is the register and the ID Card. So I would take the ID card and go to the register to tick to know who will vote and who has voted. Where it has not been ticked, I ask the branch executives if they know them and tell them to go and call them. That is the only way we identify those who have voted: by doing this exercise I was doing.”
A critical look at the picture does not indicate an exchange of money. Neither Mr Ahi nor the subjects in the picture have money in hand.
Claim 4: Twitter user, @AnnanPerry, has shared an image of the candidate for the National Democratic Congress, James Gyakye Quayeson, and declared him as MP-elect.
The tweet was posted at 5:44 pm, barely an hour after the end of polls.
The counting and collation of results are ongoing across various polling centres in the constituency. Even though some results have been declared from some polling stations, no candidate has been declared the winner. Hence, the sharing of congratulatory flyers is misleading.
The Electoral Commission is yet to announce a winner for the election.
Claim 5: Ashanti region-based Otec FM has reported that the running mate for John Mahama in the 2020 General election, Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, was attacked by some youth affiliated with the New Patriotic Party whilst touring some polling stations to monitor proceedings.
DUBAWA checked the former vice presidential candidate’s Twitter account and found a response from her which states, “Kindly disregard news in sections of the media that I have been attacked. I and my team are safe in Assin North monitoring results. We await justice to be served in the form of victory for Honorable Gyakye Quayson.”
Verdict: The claim is false.
Jeffery Nyabor, Kennedy Twumasi, and Roselena Ahiable jointly researched and produced these fact-checks. It was edited and approved for publication by Nathan Gadugah and Simbiat Bakare.