ON August 9, 2023, a video showing the ousted Nigerien president, Mohammed Bazoum accompanied by military personnel surfaced on the internet.
The footage claims the putschists were releasing the embattled president after he was forced to resign from his office.
A Facebook user, Blacks Region posted the video with a caption that reads : “VIDEO: After Signing His Resignation Letter With The Junta, the Overthrown Democratically Elected President of Niger Republic, Bazoum Has Been Released To Go Home.”
Another Facebook user, Sherifat Hasan posted with a caption that reads: “See how a Lion is converted into a cat; this life is temporary. The overthrown President of Niger Republic, Bazoum, has been released to go home after signing his resignation letter with the junta.”
The video was also shared on Biafra TV Edu, an online TV station operating on Facebook. The platform is located in Padua, Plateau in Senegal and has over 5, 600 followers, and more than 3, 200 likes.
The platform posted the video with a caption:
“The overthrown President of Niger Republic, Bazoum has been released to go home after signing his resignation letter with the junta.”
Video shows Niger’s ousted president, Mohammed Bazoum released by military junta.
Findings by FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.
Niger Republic has a population of about 27 million people. It shares borders with northern Nigeria, particularly the frontline states such as Sokoto, Katsina and Borno. The country derives its name from the Niger River, which flows through the southwestern part of its territory.
On July 26, 2023, there was a successful overthrow of the government by the military, which occurred after President Mohamed Bazoum and his family were taken into custody. This event has garnered worldwide interest, leading to worries from nations belonging to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Following a string of sanctions imposed on the nation, indications show that both ECOWAS and the Nigerian government are moving closer to engaging in negotiations to address the conflict. A delegation of Nigerian Islamic scholars dispatched to Niger recently revealed that the military leadership has expressed willingness to engage in direct discussions with ECOWAS.
However, checks by FactCheckHub reveal that the video in circulation has been online before the military coup in Niger Republic.
A keyword search on social media led us to an earlier version of the video posted by a Tiktok user, @lenfantchoco22. Analysis of the post’s time stamp using Bellingcat shows that the video was uploaded on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 11:45 pm GMT ( UTC) before the July 26 coup d’etat in Niger Republic.
A latest BBC report published on August 14 confirmed that Bazoum is still held captive in the basement of his palace since the military staged a coup in the country about three weeks ago.
The report added that the military junta has announced plans to prosecute the ousted President for committing alleged high treason and undermining national security.
The claim that the video shows a moment the ousted Nigerien president, Mohammed Bazoum was released by the Military junta after being forced to resign is FALSE . Findings by FactCheckHub show that the video has been online prior to the military coup in Niger coup.
Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via email@example.com and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.