CLAIM: DSS recovers monies stashed in Emefiele’s house.
VERDICT: False. Critical observations and newspaper reports reveal that the video has no links to the DSS or Mr Emefiele. The recording shows Sudanese officials’ recovery of monies laundered by ousted president al-Bashir.
A video clip delivered to DUBAWA alleges that monies shown in the clip were recovered by men of the State Security Service (SSS) from the home of suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Godwin Emefiele.
The video came into the possession of DUBAWA from a Twitter user, Your Chemistry Tutor (@simplyTEEWHY), who stated that the video had been touted all over Twitter, as netizens claimed the video to be true.
Eventually, we got hold of the source of the video and discovered it had been shared by another Twitter user, Fatimah Abdullahi4860 (@FAbdullahi4860). Along with the video, she wrote:
“You need to see…What DSS (d)iscovered in Emefiele(‘s) house.”
The 26-second video shows two men alone in a fairly large room and the custody of numerous bales of dollar currencies. While one of them continues to unpack bundles of cash from a duffel bag, the other is preoccupied with placing each bundle into a bill note counter.
Over 1,829 commented about the video, 2,785 retweeted it, and 4,327 liked it.
We were curious to know the replies in the comment section and discovered divergent views on the tweet.
Abbåh Jåmø (@realhajjibaba) believed the tweet and couldn’t think why the suspended CBN governor had stashed away such a humongous amount of money.
“Where is he taking this money to? For God’s sake(!)” He queried.
But on the contrary, another user, Usman ss(@usman_sulayman_), was only going to take the post with a pinch of salt as he retorted;
“How do you know it’s from Emefiele(‘s) house(?)”
Certainly, due to the sensitivity of the tweet and the recent ordeals sieging the embattled suspended governor, DUBAWA decided to investigate the claim for its authenticity.
The first approach we took was to critically observe some of the features of the video that could further give us clues as to whether the room is part of Mr Emefiele’s house or even connected to the secret state police.
An important detail we noticed was that none of the people in the video has a DSS jacket on or even property as minute as a tag that could identify them as the secret state police.
Another thing in the video that made us doubt was that there wasn’t any audio in the background. None of the people in the video spoke anything that suggested that they were DSS operatives.
Also, the room in which the men work doesn’t indicate a family house, a bedroom, or an individual closet. It’s a view of a hall, more or less a large corporate office with only tables and office cupboards.
To ascertain the observation above, we decided to look into news stories for details of the secret police storming the house of Mr Emefiele for a search. Results showed that the last time the DSS searched the embattled suspended governor was sometime in January, and the search was at his office in the CBN headquarters.
Although the secret state police, in light of Mr Emefiele’s detention, has hinted at searching his residence and office, it is yet to be carried out.
However, to find out the source of the video, we wrote a keyword search related to it, and it linked us to an April 19, 2019, publication reported by the online newspaper, The Spy.
The Spy reported how “$10,000,000” was discovered and stashed in suitcases in the Khartoum state home of former ousted Sudan leader Omar al-Bashir, in 2019.
It also reported a viral video that had been shared on YouTube, that revealed how Sudanese officials were removing the monies from the suitcases and counting the stacked bundles. They were in bales of $100 and $50 notes.
The video was the same as the one shared by Fatimah Abdullahi4860 (@FAbdullahi4860). But we made a critical observation that the one shared on YouTube has audio, where one hears the whirring sound of bill note counters and the voice of a third individual in the background, speaking in a local Sudanese tongue.
We further went ahead to confirm the report with other reliable newspaper outlets.
The Independent reported in an April 20, 2019 publication that Omar al-Bashir was under investigation for money laundering after a “hoard of US dollars, Euros, and local currency” was found in his home suitcases.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) also appeared to have reiterated the report, stating that “a large hoard of cash” was discovered at al-Bashir’s home and that the ousted Sudan president had come under investigation.
The claim is false. No detail in the video connects either the DSS or Mr Emefiele to it. Also, details from reliable news outlets reported the video to have taken place in the home of ousted President al-Bashir, when Sudanese security operatives discovered his money laundering scheme.