Nigerian police spokesman makes misleading claim about firearms recovered in Anambra


On December 19, 2023, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) spokesperson in Abuja, Prince Olumuyiwa Adejobi shared images of firearms on X (fomerly Twitter), with a claim that they were recovered in Anambra state last week from a gun runner.

The first image contains over 20 Automatic Pump Action Guns, while the second one shows live cartridges.

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“These were recovered in Anambra last week from a gun runner. The suspect is in our custody and is helping the police in their investigation,” the caption reads.

As of December 24, 2023, the post has garnered over 1.1 million views, more than 1,000 reposts, over 1,900 likes and more than 1,400 comments.



Images show firearms and ammunition recovered by the police in Anambra state last week.



Checks show that the claim is MISLEADING!

Screenshot of the viral X post by Prince Muyiwa Adejobi, the Nigerian Police spokesman. INSERT: Misleading verdict.
Screenshot of the viral X post by Muyiwa Adejobi, the Nigerian Police spokesman. INSERT: Misleading verdict.

To verify the sources of the images, this reporter subjected the images to Reverse Image Search on Yandex, Google Lens and TinEye.

The results showed that the images first appeared on the internet on November 18, 2023.

The images were published alongside a news story about the Police in Anambra state who arrested a major illegal arms dealer in the state, as reported by Channels TV, NewsNow Nigeria and The Sun newspaper.

According to the police spokesman at the Anambra Command, Tochukwu Ikenga, the breakthrough followed weeks of intensive surveillance by operatives of the Command.

A total of 23 Automatic Pump Action Guns and 625 live cartridges were recovered.

“So far, three suspects have been arrested in Onitsha while the investigation is being expanded,” he added.

The Anambra State Police Command also published this report via their Facebook handle on November 18, 2023.

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Though it’s not clear whether or not Adejobi was referring to the November 18th incident,  it shows that the time frame between the incident and the date he made the post — December 19th — cannot be regarded as last week. It’s a month old.

Meanwhile, this reporter also reached out to the Anambra state police command through a WhatsApp contact obtained from the Command’s Facebook handle, and they only confirmed the November 18th incident, by sending the press statement earlier released by Tochukwu Ikenga.



The claim that the images show firearms that were recovered in Anambra last week is MISLEADING, findings revealed that they have been linked earlier to a November 18th  incident after the NPF Anambra Command arrested a major illegal arms dealer.


* This fact-check was written by Shereefdeen Ahmad, a fellow of the ICIR’s Countering Misinformation and Promoting Media Literacy project, supported by the German Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria.

Shereefdeen Ahmad
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