CLAIM: On September 10, 2020, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a WhatsApp message claiming that Osaze Osemwegie-Ero, Governor Godwin Obaseki’s former Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism, and Diaspora has been sentenced to 10-years imprisonment.
The post with the headline: BREAKING MEWS: “Osaze Osemwegie-Ero (Governor Obaseki’s commissioner for Art, Culture, Tourism, and Diaspora) SENTENCED TO 10YEARS IN PRISON, claimed that Osemwegie-Ero’s sentencing followed a failed appeal on Wednesday, September 9, 2020.
Investigations by CDD fact-checkers show that Osemwegie-Ero was not sentenced to 10-years imprisonment by a court as being spread on WhatsApp.
Also, aside from the broadcast on WhatsApp, no major Nigerian newspaper reported the claim.
Osemwingie-Ero was arrested and detained by France INTERPOL in November 2019 for alleged money laundering after he was found with $2 million dollars in cash.
His arrest was confirmed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
While there is no evidence of his conviction, the Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Charles Nehikhare, said the claim is false.
Speaking to CDD fact-checker, Nehikhare said a date for the case is yet to be decided by the court.
He also said that Osemwegie-Ero was no longer the commissioner for Art, Culture, Tourism, and Diaspora in Edo State.
CDD fact-checkers can confirm that the claim that Osaze Osemwegie-Ero was sentenced to 10-years imprisonment is false.
CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity stories before sharing them. You can also forward suspicious messages for verification via WhatsApp to +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica
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