Fact Check

Wife of Army Chief Attahiru did not die in air crash as falsely claimed

Claim: Multiple sources claim that the wife of Nigerian Army chief, Lt-General Ibrahim Attahiru, died in the plane crash with her husband.

FALSE. Wife of Nigeria’s Army Chief, Fati Attahiru, did not die with her husband in the ill-fated air crash, as she was not a passenger on the plane.

Full Text:

On Friday 21st May 2021, news broke that a military airplane had crashed in Kaduna state, Nigeria, killing the Chief of Army Staff, his wife, other officers and members of the crew. Reports said the crash left no survivors.

The news was widely shared on social media including Twitter and Facebook, as well as reported by blogs and news websites, including this one owned by Reuben Abati, a former presidential spokesperson.

Screenshot from the blog

One of such claims was made in a post by a twitter user, Adetutu Balogun, MBA

Screenshot of the misleading tweet

The user also shared an update, affirming the claim. It reads: “Updated: Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Attahiru, has died in a plane crash in Kaduna reportedly with his wife, a Major General, his Aide camp, and personal aides. He was on an official trip to Kaduna to attend an official assignment that was to hold on Saturday morning.”

This post was retweeted 87 times, with 8 quoted tweets and 203 likes, while a Facebook post with the same claim generated 345 likes, 135 comments and had been shared 22 times within 11 hours.


In our quest to verify the claims, Dubawa checked official information channels of the Nigerian Army and came across a statement on the incident by the Army Spokesperson, Mohammed Yerima.

“The Nigerian Army regrets to announce the passing away of its Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru. The sad event occurred following an air crash in Kaduna which also claimed the lives of 10 other officers including the crew,” said Mohammed Yerima, a Brigadier General. 

Yerima noted that the Army chief was on a trip to Kaduna from Abuja, when the unfortunate incident occurred. The statement made no mention of the wife of the COAS, Fati Attahiru.

Findings also show that Mrs. Attahiru was not aboard the ill-fated plane, as seen on the list of passengers released by presidential aide, Bashir Ahmad.

The list showed that Gen. Attahiru, died in company of ten other passengers, including his aides, three Brigadier Generals and the flight crew.



The claim that Fati Attahiru, wife of the Chief of Army Staff died in the air crash that claimed the lives of her husband, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and other military officers is FALSE.

Mrs. Attahiru was not a passenger on the ill-fated plane, as findings have shown.

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