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Fact-checking viral claim Assistant Commissioner of Police was arrested for kidnapping

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CLAIM: a Twitter user (@SDiaso) shared a picture claiming that an Assistant Commissioner of Police was arrested for kidnapping.

The claim that an Assistant Commissioner of Police was arrested for kidnapping is FALSE, as the suspect in the picture was a fake Assistant Commissioner of Police who was arrested by the Nigeria Police in Akwa Ibom State for impersonation in January 2019.

FULL TEXT

On March 12, 2021, a Twitter user, Soludo Diaso (@SDiaso) shared a post with a picture purported to be an Assistant Commissioner of Police arrested for kidnapping. It had the caption “Assistant Commissioner of @Police NG arrested for kidnapping in Nigeria.”

Screenshot of the tweet from @SDiaso

As at Tuesday March 16, 2021, the Twitter post had generated 4,954 Retweets, 758 Quote Tweets and 6,520 Likes.

VERIFICATION

To verify this photo, Dubawa initiated a Google reverse image search. Results from the search indicate that the picture had been on the internet since 2019. A report from the results identified the man in the picture as Kinglsey Udoyen, who was arrested by the police in Akwa Ibom State in January 2019, for impersonation.

Mr. Udoyen was arrested by the police for defrauding members of the public by pretending to be an Assistant Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State. He was paraded before journalists at the Akwa Ibom State Police Headquarters in Uyo, by the then Commissioner of Police, Musa Kimo.

Mr. Kimo said Mr Udoyen, who resides at House 3, Stadium Road, Abak, was arrested on January 2, 2019, for “using the fake police rank to threaten and defraud unsuspecting members of the public.

“A search in his house led to the recovery of one English pistol without magazine and ammunition, portraits of chief superintendent of police and assistant commissioner of police, three pairs of uniform, police belt, fake police ID card, and other documents,” the police commissioner said.

According to a press statement by Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer, the suspect, Kingsley Udoyen, “is a fake Police Officer and not a serving Assistant Commissioner of Police.” “The suspect is an impersonator who was posing as an Assistant Commissioner of Police to defraud and threaten unsuspecting members of the public before he ran out of luck and was subsequently arrested. He has since been arraigned in a competent court of law and he is currently undergoing criminal prosecution at the Magistrate Court, Abak, Akwa Ibom State,” the police spokesperson said.

CONCLUSION

The Twitter post with the picture claiming that a Nigerian Assistant Commissioner of Police had been arrested by the police for kidnapping is false and misleading. As findings have shown, the man in the picture is an impersonator who was arrested and not a police officer involved in kidnappings in Nigeria.

Uchenna Igwe is a campus reporter with the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), with interests in health, climate, research and data journalism.

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