Was This Video Taken in Igbo State, Nigeria?

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This video has been shared under multiple claims, two of which are tweets. One is raising an alarm of alleged gunmen in Owerri, Igbos.

Another seems to be connecting this video to an attack on the governor of Imo state.

We ran a check to establish where this video was taken, when and under what circumstances.

Background

These tweets are closely related as they all point to the unrest experienced in Imo state following the killing of Ahmad Gulak, a former advisor to the former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, while on his way from Owerri.

Owerri is the capital of Imo state in Igboland. Reports say that this assassination was carried out by members of the separatist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its auxiliary group, Eastern Security Network (ESN).

Verification

From a basic analysis, the people in this video are heard to be speaking Swahili, a language commonly spoken in East African countries. Listening keenly, a speaker in the video says, “fungua! Fungua!” which translates as, “open! Open!”

To establish which specific East African country this video originated from, we analyzed the registration numbers of the vehicles in this video. A prefix car registration from one of the vehicles shows KCJ in black, on a white reflective plate. This refers to a car registration format in Kenya. However, due to the quality of the video shared, Piga Firimbi was not able to establish the numerical part of the car registration.

Additionally, there were no results found from a reverse image search.

However, this video is popular in Kenyan social media spaces.

In the past year, a meeting held by a section of leaders from Western Kenya was disrupted by anti-riot police. This was one of the videos that surfaced on the internet. A popular name connected to this video at the time was that of Dr Boni Khalwale, the former Kakamega senator.

Now, with this information, we ran an advanced search across key social media platforms to establish when this video was taken. A search on Facebook under the keywords: ‘Boni Khalwale chased’ gave results of the same video shared on January 18, 2020. This post had Bukhungu as a caption to this video.

Using Bukhungu as a location in Mumias, Western Kenya, and ‘Boni Khalwale’ as a keyword in this search, we formulated a new key term: ‘Khalwale Bukhungu Mumias 2020.’ From this search, the same video was shared on YouTube on January 18, 2020.

An advanced search on Twitter for the period between January 15, 2020, and January 22, 2020, shows the same video was shared by the Senator of Elgeyo-Marakwet county, Kipchumba Murkomen. In this tweet, he stated that the Western Kenya leaders were tear-gassed for allegedly holding a parallel meeting in Mumias, 38 kilometres away from where a Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally was being held.

Another tweet by Dr Boni Khalwale shared on January 18, 2020, shows a screenshot from the same video. In this tweet, he identified himself alongside a Member of the County Assembly, Jackie Mwenesi, as one of the leaders who were caught in the fracas.

Digging a bit deeper, we established that this video had earlier been shared under false claims on YouTube.

Verdict

Claims that this video was taken in Imo state, Nigeria are FALSE.

 

This story was produced by Africa Uncensored in partnership with Code for Africa with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.

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Nyakerario Omari

Nyakerario J. Omari is a Kenyan writer and journalist with a passion for in-depth stories told through documentaries. She has an interest in reporting matters concerning health, crime and human rights.