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Viral images of unearthed vehicles falsely linked to Nigerian politicians

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Claim: Corrupt Nigerian politicians bury luxurious jeeps to siphon money.

Viral images of unearthed vehicles falsely linked to Nigerian politicians

Verdict: The images in question had been posted online weeks earlier, with claims associating the vehicles with Afghanistan. The allegation is false, as it has no connection with Nigeria.

Full Text

Recently, photos of vehicles unearthed from a ditch went viral, with the assertion that corrupt Nigerian politicians hid them there. These images have been repeatedly shared on Facebook and X with slightly varying captions.

For example, while a Facebook user, Masoya Sultan shared these images and sarcastically wrote “I love my country” with laugh emoticons, others, like TN Timkat, alleged that they were cars looted by the former governor of Zamfara state, Bello Matawelle.

Another user, Abdulrasaq Yakubu, posted a cartoon relating the discovered vehicles to the perceived corruption of some Nigerian politicians. Other places where this claim has sprouted can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

DUBAWA conducted this verification due to the virality of the images.

Verification

Conducting a Google Reverse Image Search, DUBAWA identified the same images were shared on X by Bella Morne, Zaid UI Khair, DefenceTimesNG, and Abdullah. They were accompanied by captions like “In Mazar-i-Sharif, the Afghan government has got the treasure that was hidden underground by the previous rulers,”  and “Look at what forces of IEA discover in Balkh Province.” 

Simultaneously, a Reddit post alleged that the vehicles had been “buried by former corrupt Afghan politicians before leaving Afghanistan.” 

Viral images of unearthed vehicles falsely linked to Nigerian politicians
Photo grid of the viral images.

DUBAWA observed the time differences in the Nigerian and Afghanistan narratives. We traced the initial appearance of these images to Nov. 23. Meanwhile, they did not begin to make the rounds in Nigeria until Dec. 13, 2023

However, while we were unable to verify whether the pictured vehicles were indeed found in northern Afghanistan or if they belonged to former Afghan government officials, it is noteworthy that they have no connection with Nigeria. Moreover, no reports in the Nigerian media have covered the recovery of buried vehicles.  

Conclusion

The images in question have no connection with Nigeria or its politicians. They have earlier been circulated with assertions linking the vehicles to Afghanistan. The claim is false.

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