Sports

FACT-CHECK: Is JJ Okocha Building 100 Bungalows For The Under-Privileged In Enugu, Ogwashi-Uku?

Rita Enemuru, Reporting

CLAIM

ON March 22, 2024, a Facebook user, Voice of The Masses, posted a claim about former Super Eagles midfield maestro, Jay Jay Okocha, building 100 bungalows for the under-privileged and homeless people in his hometown, Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State. The claim, posted on Facebook as of Tuesday, March 27th, has gained 21k reactions, 2,000 comments (majority praising the former Bolton Wanderers star for his benevolent act) and 747 shares.

The post reads: “Super Eagles Legend, Jay Jay Okocha, has built 100 bungalow houses for the less privileged and homeless people in the hometown where he was born (in) Delta State, Nigeria.”

FACT-CHECK: Is JJ Okocha Building 100 Bungalows For The Under-Privileged In Enugu, Ogwashi-Uku?

Picture of the claim

FACT-CHECK: Is JJ Okocha Building 100 Bungalows For The Under-Privileged In Enugu, Ogwashi-Uku?

Comments under the claim

Some of the comments under the post read thus: “JJ is from Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State and nothing of such here, as I speak to you now. I (am) base(d) in Ogwashi so stop lying biko.

“He’s Trying To Enter Into Politics….Okocha Is Very Stingy And Selfish Person In Real Life….This Is Strategy To Buy Votes…If This Post Is True.

VERIFICATION

While fact-checking the claim, Stonix News stumbled on one Mayowa J. Michael’s Facebook page where the poster claimed that the 100 building projects were being constructed in a community in Enugu State. An X poster also tweeted the post which has garnered up to 16.9k views.

When Stonix News contacted Voice Of The Masses about the origin of the information, he said he had no idea and that he posted it because it was trending online.

FACT-CHECK: Is JJ Okocha Building 100 Bungalows For The Under-Privileged In Enugu, Ogwashi-Uku?

Response from Voice Of The Masses

Also, when some of the photos were scanned with Google Photos, it was discovered that some of the photos had been uploaded on the internet for advertisement.

Furthermore, two of the prominent photos of the buildings posted with the claim were posted on X by Willstone Homes on January 26, 2024, with the caption: “Construction is ongoing at Windsor Ridge 2 as we gear towards the handover of this estate scheduled for February 24, 2024.”

A follow-up tweet also showed the company handing over the completed version of the said buildings to the owners on February 24, 2024.

More searches showed that Willstone Homes is a real estate developer located at Parklands Nairobi, Kenya and that Windsor Ridge 2 is also located in the United States of America.

More fact-checking revealed that though some websites, including Africa Media Australia, The Pressman, PHC Telegraph, Nairaland and Housing TV Africa have published the claim about a month ago, no major news websites (print or media) in Nigeria published it.

FACT-CHECK: Is JJ Okocha Building 100 Bungalows For The Under-Privileged In Enugu, Ogwashi-Uku?

Screenshots of the published articles

IMG 20240330 WA0008 IMG 20240330 WA0007

For further verification, our fact-checker contacted Jay Jay Okocha on WhatsApp, Instagram and telephone, but was unable to get a response from him as of the time of filing this report (Thursday March 28, 2024).

While waiting for a response from Okocha, Stonix News got across to some persons in Ogwashi-Uku and Enugu, but those contacted said they had no idea about any ongoing or completed project by the football legend.

FACT-CHECK: Is JJ Okocha Building 100 Bungalows For The Under-Privileged In Enugu, Ogwashi-Uku?

Attempts to reach out to JJ Okocha in a WhatsApp chat

FACT-CHECK: Is JJ Okocha Building 100 Bungalows For The Under-Privileged In Enugu, Ogwashi-Uku?

Screenshots of how our fact-checker reached out to Okocha a second time on WhatsApp

One respondent, a seasoned journalist with a mainstream print media based in Ogwashi-Uku, who doesn’t want his name in print, said: “To the best of my knowledge and others who ought to know, Okocha does not have bungalows for less privileged persons in Ogwashi-Uku. He doesn’t even have a personal residential building in the town. The one he started long ago is yet to be completed..or say abandoned.

“Maybe he is building the 100 bungalows in Enugu, Enugu State, where he was born, brought up and started his football career. He, his family …. parents and siblings live in Enugu till date. However if there are such bungalows by him in Ogwashi-Uku and I got to know later, I will revert to you. Good morning my brother.”

Also, one respondent from Enugu, Peace Patrick, who’s also a journalist with an online news platform, responded: “I asked my lecturer in Enugu, he said he’s not aware, but he would ask about it and get back to me. He later got back and said everyone he asked responded in the negative.”

One Favour (surname withheld) said: “Three persons I’ve asked said they have no idea about that, but let’s still be asking. I contacted one of my Enugu based course mate too, but haven’t gotten any reply from her.”

VERDICT

Though JJ Okocha did not respond to confirm the claim, a thorough search was done on his verified Instagram and X pages for any hint on the claim, but there was none to that effect. Therefore, all investigations by our fact-checker revealed that the claim (could) be false and misleading.

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