Fact-checkNews

Fact-Check: No Evidence to Suggest This Video Shows Nigerian Police

A viral video featuring what seems to be security personnel stamping his feet on the neck of a civilian posits it is a Nigerian police officer.

No evidence to support the claims circulating that the video shows a Nigerian Police Officer. The background of the footage suggests the footage was not taken in Nigeria.

Full Text

A 31-second video showing an unidentified security officer brutally stamping his feet on the neck of a civilian has been circulating on social media.

The video has the Nigeria Dream logo on the upper left and a Facebook user posted it with the caption “please share it, till it gets to the IGP”, claiming it is Nigerian police officer.


Additionally, the Facebook post had over 10,000 views as at the time of writing this fact-check. It has also been trending on WhatsApp and other messaging platforms.

Police Brutality in Nigeria

In the recent past, there have been cries all over Nigeria over police brutality. Similarly, social media users have expressed dissatisfaction over the use of “extra force” by the police on civilians.

To this effect, several reports have shown that Nigerians are outraged with the human rights violations by Nigeria Police Force; especially with regards to the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). After all, Amnesty International documented 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment and extra-judicial executions by the SARS in three years, between 2017 and 2020.

And although the legislature passed the anti-torture statute in 2017, the nonprofit says that police officers in Nigeria continue to brutality torture civilians they are supposed to protect.

Verification:

Using available fact-checking tools (including reverse image searches), we found that the video was not published anywhere before the Nigerian Dream uploaded it.

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Muhammad Adamu, through the Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, has however debunked the viral video.

“A critical look at the video indicates that the vehicles on the scene are neither common vehicles used in Nigeria nor are the number plates of Nigerian pattern.

“Although the man in uniform looks like a private security guard that can be found anywhere, he is certainly not a personnel of the Nigeria Police Force.

“Also, the background language in the video is not any of the known Nigerian languages,” Mba said.

Conclusion

Yes, there are reports showing police brutality prevalent in Nigeria and in many countries around the world but the video circulating has no sufficient evidence to support the claim it makes.

For starters, the language is not Nigerian; also, the car plate numbers in the background are not indigenous either. And finally, the IGP debunked the claim.

We can only surmise the circulation of the video was triggered by the global unrest with regards to police brutality as well as experiences some have had with the SARS wing of the Force.

This fact-check is produced per HumAngle partnership with the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in Nigeria.


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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu Dahiru Aliyu is a senior reporter, researcher and a fact-checker. He heads the extremism and radicalisation desk. Tweets: @Aliyussufiy

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