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No, Nigeria’s Labour Party candidate for Lagos governor will not be disqualified over ‘missing’ name

IN SHORT: Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour has had to contend with many rumours about his qualifications. A new allegation that he risks being excluded from the 18 March 2023 election because of his identity is, like earlier innuendo, false.

The Labour Party's candidate for governor of Nigeria's key state of Lagos, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, will be disqualified. At least that's the claim made in a tweet just days before voters in the country's 28 states go to the polls to elect governors.

The tweet claims that this is because Rhodes-Vivour submitted a different name to the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec). 

The user making the allegation is responding to a tweet by Rhodes-Vivour, who shared a photo of his Master of Architecture degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States.   

This is an Own goal. David Lyon was disqualified bcoz his deputy name with INEC didn't match with the names on his certificate. You presented yourself as GBADEBO to INEC while ur certificate bears PATRICK. In all honesty, you're wasting your time because you'd be DISQUALIFIED!” the tweet read.

David Lyon won the Bayelsa state governorship election in November 2019, but was disqualified by the supreme court a day before he was to be sworn in.

The court upheld a federal court ruling that found Lyon's running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, guilty of submitting forged certificates to Inec. Degi-Eremienyo’s certificates were said to bear several different names.

Rhodes-Vivour wanted to quash rumours that he didn't have a master's degree from MIT. The name on the certificate is “Rhodes-Vivour Patrick”.

With Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi winning the most votes in the economic capital, Lagos, Rhodes-Vivour is thought to have a good chance of defeating the incumbent governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The APC’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, was declared the overall winner of the 25 February presidential election. Obi is challenging this result in court

But is it true that Rhodes-Vivour failed to include “Patrick” in the names he submitted to the electoral commission and risked being disqualified for doing so?

False Rhodes-Vivour name claim

Inec’s list does include ‘Patrick’

Inec published the list of candidates for governorship and state assembly elections in October 2022. 

The list includes Rhodes-Vivour's name as the Labour Party candidate for governor of Lagos. His name appears on the list as “Rhodes-Vivour Gbadebo Patrick”.  

Rhodes-Vivour also told Africa Check that the name Gbadebo appears as the initial “G” on his documents at MIT.

“My name appears as Patrick G. Rhodes-Vivour at MIT. I don’t understand why these people keep bringing up controversies that don’t exist. They said I didn’t go to MIT. That has been debunked. Now this one. They have not been able to say I committed any crime or that I am a former drug lord. Don’t worry about this,” he said.

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