Fact CheckSecurity

2018 photograph recycled as recent military attack in Abia State

Claim: Nigerian Army killed and dragged an Igbo man at Urata Junction in Aba, Abia State. 

The picture showing a man who was shot dead and was being dragged by the Nigerian Army is at least three years old.

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A Twitter user, Arinze Fidel (@ArinzeFidel3), on Sunday, May 30, 2020 claimed that a man was shot dead by the Nigerian Army at Urata junction, Aba in Abia State.

His tweet was accompanied by a photograph and a caption, saying, “this guy was shoot dead this morning by Nigerian  army at urata junction in Aba  abia state.”

Within 24 hours, this tweet has attracted over 1,700 retweets, more than 700 likes and over 80 comments.

Another Twitter user on Monday morning, Dr.Penking (@drpenking), also shared the same photograph, claiming that the man was shot dead that morning.

His tweet reads: “Shot dead this morning by officers of the Nigerian  army at urata junction in Aba, Abia state. His crime? He is Igbo. No one would have known about these things if not for social media. That’s why they want to silence us.

“They kill and then carry the body so that there will be no evidence.”

These posts coincide with the issuance of a sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPoB) in the five states of the South-East zone.

IPoB, led by Nnamdi Kanu, had issued the no-movement directive to mark what it termed the Biafra Day, a reference to May 30, 1967, the day the General Yakubu Gowon-led Federal Government declared a full-blown war with the then Eastern Regional Government headed by the late Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, for declaring the section of the country an independent nation to be known as the Republic of Biafra.


A Google Reverse Image Search of the image showed that the said photograph was used in a 2018 report by Igberetvnews.

The online news platform published the photograph while reporting the death of a 25-year-old tailor during a sit-at-home order in 2018 that turned bloody. The incident was tagged with the headline: BiafraHeroesDay: Soldiers Kill 25 Year Boy Playing Football in Aba (Photos).

Moments later, the medium published an updated version of the event with the headline BiafraDay: Soldiers Caught on Camera Dragging Man on the Ground in Aba After Shooting Him Dead. The updated version had more photographs from the event. 

Further checks by Dubawa revealed that the same photograph also appeared in a Nairaland post depicting the killing of the tailor on June 1, 2018.

A screenshot of the 2018 report


The claim in the tweet is misleading as the accompanying photograph is not recent. Although the image appears to have emanated from Aba in Abia State, evidence suggests that the photograph is from 2018.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with The Nigerian Tribune to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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