Claim: A viral report making the rounds on social media and some online news media claimed that the Nigerian customs, in Niger State, intercepted a truck loaded with 200,000 live ammunition along the Wawa-Banana border on the way to Onitsha from Benin Republic, on the 10th of July 2021.
DUBAWA’s investigations revealed the incident occurred in July 2018 and not 2021 as clarified by the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Customs Service, Niger/Kogi Area Command, Deputy Superintendent of Customs, Emmanuel Tangwa.
A viral report making the rounds on social media and some news platforms claims that officials of the Nigeria customs service in Niger state have recently intercepted a truck loaded with 200,000 live ammunition. The truck with Lagos registration number AKD904X was reported to have been intercepted at Wawa-Babana area of Niger state, a border town with Benin republic.
Aside from social media, some blogs published the report. CKNNigeria had the headline, “Customs intercepts truck carrying 200,000 live ammunition in Niger.” It didn’t stop there, on the 11th of July 2021, Naijanews published the same story with the same headline, giving it a touch of recency.
Same claim, shared by NaijaNews on July 11th, 2021
On Facebook, Vanguard Newspaper also shared the same post on the 11th of July 2021. A user commented; “Good job to the security forces” while another added that “What is this country even turning into?”
Vanguard news on Facebook shared the claim on July 11, 2021
While the claim has enjoyed multiple shares across platforms, some internet users claimed the incident happened in 2018 and not in 2021. This inconsistency led DUBAWA to investigate the actual year the interception of live ammunition happened.took place.
Firstly, Dubawa reached out to the Nigeria Customs Public Relations Officer for Niger/Kogi Area Command, Emmanuel Tangwa, who said the event took place three years ago and that the recent publications were misleading to make it look new.
“The operation actually took place, and it was widely reported in the media. The contradiction here is that it took place three years ago in 2018 and not as recently implied,”he said.
He added that a press statement has already been released to clear the air on the publication. DUBAWA received a copy of the press statement on WhatsApp and it clearly stated that it took place in 2018 and not recently in 2021.
Also tracking the time trail of the information via google search, DUBAWA noticed that the news first emerged in 2018 and was widely published by many media outlets.
Channels Television published it on its website back in 2018 and also broadcast it via its news Television Channel. TheCable also published the news of the interception back in July 2018 with the caption “Customs: we seized a truck conveying 200,000 live ammunition.”
Though it is true that the Niger/Kogi Area Command of the Nigeria customs intercepted a truck load of 200,000 live ammunition, the event took place in 2018 and not in 2021 as it is now widely and recently shared. This claim is therefore misleading.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with NTA Ilorin to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.