Claim: A Facebook page known as Igbo Times Magazine recently claimed that Nigerian senator, Enyinnaya Abaribe, was shot dead by gunmen at his residence in Abia State.
Verdict: False. The senator debunked the report, while the supposed images from the attack scene were from a different incident.
A Facebook page, Igbo Times Magazine, asserted that Senator Abaribe, the lawmaker representing Abia South Senatorial district, was shot dead by gunmen in his residence.
The caption on Facebook stated that unknown gunmen invaded Mr Abaribe’s home, after which the Senator’s security agents engaged in a gunfight with the assailants. The post stated that the lawmaker was shot dead in the scuffle.
Pictures of the senator in the red chamber and other images of gunmen and a car – purportedly from the attack scene – were attached to the post.
However, a link to the post does not lead to a full report regarding the incident. Instead, it led to an entirely different report about how the President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, allegedly announced the suspension of all courts in Nigeria for alleged fear of disqualification.
The post was also shared on X (formerly known as Twitter). It elicited a lot of responses from users, with some of them doubting the authenticity of the claim. The handler was, however, under almost all the tweets replying ‘Not Fake’ to the comments.
DUBAWA quickly ran a search on Google search engine to see if there were other reports regarding the death of the Senator. However, there are no such reports on credible media organisations. Instead, the reports returned by Google showed where the Senator himself debunked the Igbo Times Magazine report, as seen here and here.
DUBAWA did a reverse image search on the images attached to the Facebook post. One of the images was taken from a 2021 incident in Anambra where gunmen attacked the motorcade of a House of Representative member representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South/Ekwusigo Constituency, Chris Emeka Azubogu. Mr Azubogu’s driver was killed in the attack.
Two other images were from a 2022 attack on the convoy of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial Zone. Mr Ubah’s convoy was attacked at Enugwu Ukwu in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, resulting in the death of the Senator’s aides and some police officers.
Also, DUBAWA reached out to someone close to the Senator who said she had seen the report some days ago and still saw Mr Abaribe in person some hours ago.
When contacted, Uchenna Awom, an aide to the lawmaker, told DUBAWA that the rumoured death of his principal is “not true”.
The claim that Senator Abaribe was shot dead in his home is false. According to media reports and the account of a source close to him, the lawmaker is well and alive. Also, images attached to the post were taken from other incidents.