“Breaking News. Gunmen stormed OMOBA police station in ISI ALA NGWA STH by 3am, killed every male officers and freed all inmates,” reads a message posted on the Nigeria-based Facebook group page “Biafra News Channel” on 2 February 2021.
But were all the male officers killed and the prisoners freed in an attack on a police station in the area?
One dead, one injured, station set on fire
But all reports say a single officer, an inspector, was killed in the attack. No news outlet has reported more than one death, and there is no evidence prisoners were freed. The gunmen also raided the station’s armoury.
Africa Check spoke to chief superintendent Geoffrey Ogbonna, spokesperson for the Abia state police, on 3 February. He said it was not true that all the officers in the station were killed and the prisoners freed. One officer was killed, another injured, and guns were stolen.
“Yesterday morning at around 3:30, some unknown hoodlums besieged a police station, attacked officers on duty, then broke into the armoury, carted away some firearms,” Ogbonna said. “They killed one inspector, injured one female officer there and, at the end of it, they set the station ablaze together with vehicles.
“I am just hearing the claim that inmates were freed for the first time. That was not in our report."
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.