Armed ViolenceDisinformationNews

Fact-check: No, These Arms Were Not ‘Discovered’ in the House of Zamfara State Lawmaker

Claim: HumAngle fact-checkers have recently spotted an image of firearms being circulated on social media, and has since been trending on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.

The social media users sharing the image claim that the firearms in the picture were among those unearthed recently in Gusau of Zamfara State.

The users also add that a member at the Zamfara State House of Assembly, representing Tsafe Local Government, was nabbed by security operatives and is responding to interrogations for sponsoring banditry in the Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Kaduna States at the time of the assertion.

Verdict: False

Facts: HumAngle fact-checkers found the claims trending with the uploaded picture as false.

The image is old and has been on the Internet since 2013, on the website of Aljazeera, and was also uploaded to VOA Hausa website in October 2013 and VOA News in June 2014.

The picture was used to report different stories. In 2013, Aljazeera used the picture to study “Porous Borders and Boko Haram’s Arms Smuggling Operation in Nigeria”. VOA News also used the picture to report “Freed Hostages Say Boko Haram Lacks Weapons” in 2016.

The claim that Zamfara lawmaker representing Tsafe Local Government was arrested in Gusau, was taken from an old story in 2014 when Nigeria Police Force discovered arms in the residence of the then lawmaker representing the Tsafe Local Government, in Gusau, ahead of 2015 general election.

HumAngle fact-checkers conclude that the story was recycled to mislead people into believing that the firearms were discovered recently as terrorists continue to storm Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto States.

Conclusion: The picture trending was not from the house of any lawmaker in Zamfara State. And the assertion that Nigeria Police Force arrested Zamfara lawmaker was from an old story recycled from 2014 to mislead people.

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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu is an Assistant Editor at HumAngle and Head of the Radicalism and Extremism Desk. He has years of experience researching misinformation and influence operations. He is passionate about analysing jihadism in Africa and has published several articles on the topic. His work has been featured in various local and international publications.

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