Does This Photo Show Men in Nigerian State Uniform?

This tweet published on January 25, 2021, claims that the photo captured shows men, in Nigerian State Uniform, allegedly going around killing innocent Nigerians in their homes.

Background

The Nigerian Police Force is the principal law enforcement and lead security agency in Nigeria. It is headed by Inspector General of Police Muhammed A. Adamu. A unit of the Nigerian police force that has faced anger from civilians due to routine harassment and atrocities is the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

It is a branch created to fight violent crimes including armed robbery and kidnapping. In each state, SARS is under the criminal investigations department of the police command. SARS officers are known for demanding bribes at checkpoints and violent confrontations with civilians which could end in death.

These atrocities pushed the creation of #ENDSARS, a hashtag which went viral as a series of mass protests against police brutality in Nigeria.  #ENDSARS dates back to at least 2017 when people took it to the internet to share their experiences of violence and assault in the hands of SARS.

In a tweet by the Nigerian government, a directive was given for the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad on October 11, 2020.

Verification

As per Kenyan law, the registration plate of Kenyan government vehicles is supposed to bear seven optical recognizable characters with the prefix ‘GK’ embossed and printed in black on a white aluminium reflective sheet for the front plate and yellow reflective sheet for the rear.

From a close analysis of the image, the circled part shows a prefix number plate ‘GK’ which means this vehicle belongs to the Kenyan government.

Secondly, after running an image reverse search, this image was first featured in an article by The Daily Mail dated September 23, 2013. These Kenyan soldiers are seen patrolling the Westgate mall during an attack by the Al-Shabaab on September 21, 2013.

Verdict

The photo claiming to show the Nigerian army in state uniforms is FALSE.

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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.