Criticising that system has been lifeblood of Mr Sowore’s website, which operates from the US, where he moved after spending his youth in political activism in Nigeria. To its critics, the website is simply a gossipmonger, but to its fans, who include many diplomats, it is an African Wikileaks. Among the other cases it has covered is that of James Ibori, an ex-Delta region governor jailed in Britain in 2012 for using millions of pounds of embezzled cash to buy flats in Mayfair and Hampstead.
Although Mr Sowore runs a network of reporters in Nigeria, having the website based Stateside makes it harder for Nigeria’s political class to silence it, either by writ or by force.
Still, when it comes to winning elections, the old-school politicians in Nigeria still have the upper hand. Mr Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) party charges nearly £100,000 just to stand for nomination as a candidate, while Mr Abubakar’s People’s Democratic Party charges around £25,000. Campaign spending also runs into the tens of millions. That makes politics a game only for the very rich, or for those who can find a “Godfather” figure to back them, who later demands favours.
Vote-buying is also rampant, as Mr Sowore, who has financed his campaign through crowd-funding, has now experienced first-hand for himself.