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FACT CHECK: Did Femi Falana call abusers of Obasanjo ‘bastards’?

FACT CHECK: Did Femi Falana call abusers of Obasanjo ‘bastards’?

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A letter written to President Muhammadu Buhari by former president Olusegun Obasanjo where he alleged that the government was planning to rig the forthcoming general election, has elicited several reactions.

On Tuesday, a Twitter user, Olayinka Samuel, who tweets with the handle @_olayinka, posted a quote he attributed to human rights lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana.

The quote read: “If you are from Yorubaland and abusing Obasanjo because of Buhari for saying the truth, you are a bastard” – Femi Falana.

Olayinka is an administrator who also doubles as a public affairs analyst and a media strategist.

The tweet which was posted around 9:20 am has garnered over 1,400 likes, 1,065 retweets and 182 comments.

A look at Olayinka’s timeline shows he is a supporter of the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, and regularly posts pro-PDP tweets, particularly those pushing the agenda of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

So, did Falana actually make the comment that was attributed to him?

The fact:

Fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) did a Google search of the quote, and the result showed instances of the quote on Facebook. The quote was not carried by any major credible newspaper or website. This is strange because Falana is one of the most popular public analysts in the country and his statements are usually reported by major news organisations in the country.

CDD reached out to Falana for comments and he denied making the statement. He said he had no business joining issues with two retired generals.

“My attention has been drawn to a puerile statement credited to me by some irresponsible Yoruba irredentists on the intraclass feud between Ex-President Obasanjo and President Buhari. I urge members of the public to disregard the fake news linking me with the politicians who have pitched their tents with both retired Generals,” he said in a statement sent to CDD on Tuesday.

Verdict

From the above explanation, it is obvious that the quote attributed to Falana is FALSE.

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