A photo has circulated online with the claim that Oluremi Tinubu, Nigeria’s first lady, participated in an official meeting between Bola Tinubu; the president, Godwin Emefiele; governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Mele Kyari; group managing director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), over fuel subsidy related matters.
Controversies have trailed the viral claim and the image, days after the official swearing-in of Tinubu and his vice, Kashim Shettima. This can be seen in multiple blog news with the viral photo here, here, and here.
A Twitter user made the same claim in a post that had since garnered over 108k views when it was retrieved from the microblogging platform.
Claim: The picture shows Nigeria’s first lady, Oluremi Tinubu, participating in an official meeting between the president, CBN governor, and the GMD of NNPCL
To investigate the claim, the CDD Election War Room conducted a verification process over the viral photo which shows the president, vice president, first lady, and two Aide De Camps (ADCs).
We found that the picture was taken on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, the day Bola Tinubu assumed office at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja. The president also shared pictures capturing the moments on his official Twitter handle, with the caption “First day on the job”.
One of the images, taken from a different angle and offering a broader view, shows the presence of Shettima’s ADC and the permanent secretary of the State House, Tijani Umar Idris, in the room.
Upon further assessment of the picture, we noticed that the wall mirror’s reflection shows the presence of other notable persons who were seen standing in the room. They include Femi Gbajabiamila, Dele Alake, and James Faleke, a photographer, and a cameraman, among others.
Premium Times had reported that Tinubu arrived at the Villa office at about 2:30 pm on Tuesday, and was received by Shettima, Emefiele, and Kyari, among others. The CBN governor and the GMD of NNPCL reportedly met with the president separately.
The footage, which captures the moment when Emefiele and Gbajabiamila were taking their seats, shows that Dele Alake was seated in the spot where the first lady was seen sitting in the viral photo. This suggests a sitting rearrangement in the room between the time the viral photo was taken and the moment the CBN governor joined the president at the round table.
To gather more information and verify the sequence of events, we contacted a State House Correspondent, who confirmed that the president’s official meeting was held closed-door and that the first lady was indeed present in the room before the official meeting took place.
The claim that the viral photo shows Nigeria’s first lady participating in the official meeting held between the president and heads of CBN and NNPCL, is misleading. We can confirm that the first lady was initially present in the room where the viral photo was taken. However, there was a subsequent sitting rearrangement of individuals before they held the closed-door meeting. Also, no credible media reported the presence of the first lady at the official meeting.