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#EndSars: Was The Adekunle Police Station in Yaba Set Ablaze?

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Claim: TVC news as well as other social media users had reported that the Adekunle Police Station in Yaba, Lagos had been set ablaze by angry #EndSars protesters. 

False, the claim by some individuals and TVC News about the Adekunle police station being set ablaze by protesters is misleading and a disinformation. 

Full Text

On twitter, many users reported and shared news of the Adekunle police station being razed by protesters and the report gained more grounds when local television news station, TVC reported it.

The Jonathanian (@The_Jonathaian) tweeted against the burning of the police station, asking whoever is responsible to “Stop this now” reminding people that “the #EndSars is a non-violent peaceful protest to pressurize the government to #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeria,” 

Others like Shaba Baba Muhammad (@Spychief) simply tweeted to “inform” others saying, “Adekunle Police Station in Yaba has been set on fire……. By Peaceful Protesters”

But Usman Yusuf (@UsmanYusuf) tweeted with additional misinforming reports, “BREAKING: Adekunle Police Station in Yaba, Lagos on fire after an attack by #EndSars Protesters following another attack on RRS members and building on Herbert Macaulay way with many others injured and vehicles vandalised @ValiantNig!” 

TVC News was the most viral as its burning was reported on live national TV with the on screen headline, saying, “Just in: Adekunle Police Station, Yaba on fire”

Screenshot from Twitter 
Photo of TVC news live broadcast on Monday 19th October 2020 
Screenshot from Twitter 

Background on the #EndSARS Protest

The hashtag #EndSARS campaign and protest kicked off again this year with a lot of Nigerian entertainers, activists, and influencers calling for the disbandment of the Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad unit of the Nigerian Police Force. 

SARS has been accused of extra-judicial killings and the most recent being, the shooting of 2 young men in Portharcourt and in Ughelli with the former reported to have died much earlier.

Since the protest  started, many unverified stories have filled the social media space on an hourly basis. At 13:00 on Monday, the 19th of October, gunshots from the Adekunle police station were heard by protesters and pedestrians causing a pandemonium in the Yaba area of Lagos. Not long after, reports of the Adekunle Police Station being burnt down followed almost immediately on social media with some Television and online news platforms confirming the report.

Verification

Dubawa reached out to the PRO of the police command in Lagos State, SP Olumuyiwa Adejobi who tagged the report untrue “Adekunle police station in Lagos State was not set ablaze. Disregard the rumour please.” 

For more clarification, dubawa visited the Adekunle Police Station to examine its true state. It was as quiet as a graveyard with very few people seen on the street, with Just cars driving to their destination and a handful of people at the police station itself. No signs of fire or smoke in the air, all blue skies.

Photo of the Adekunle Police Station taken on Tuesday, 20th of October 2020. 

Conclusion

The claims by TVC News and other individuals on social media that the Adekunle police station at Yaba, Lagos was set ablaze by the #EndSARS protesters are completely false and should be regarded as disinformation.

The researcher produced this fact check under the auspices of the Dubawa 2020 fellowship to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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