“Meet the ladies that killed Abacha with an Apple.”
That’s the caption of a black and white photo, shared on Facebook in Nigeria, of two women sitting on a scooter and looking into the camera.
Sani Abacha was a military leader implicated in Nigerian government coups in the 1980s and 1990s. He ruled Nigeria from 1993 until 1998.
“The ladies you see is in this picture are history makers who did the impossible of killing the formal dictator ‘Abacha’ the have been hidden away from media for a while now,” the error-ridden Facebook post continues.
Abacha died on 8 June 1998. Rumours soon circulated that he had been given apple juice spiked with poison by female sex workers.
“United States intelligence analysts say there is evidence that Gen. Sani Abacha, the Nigerian dictator who died unexpectedly last month, was poisoned while in the company of three prostitutes,” the New York Times reported on 11 July 1998.
On 15 July 1998, the Irish Times reported that the Nigerian government had said Abacha “died of a heart attack on June 8th. But there has been widespread speculation that he was poisoned with spiked apple juice while with prostitutes.”
Are the women in the photo sex workers who poisoned Abacha with spiked apple juice in 1998?
Portrait by Seydou Keïta, taken in 1952
A reverse image search of the photo led us to the work of Seydou Keïta, a legendary Malian photographer who produced a series of portraits in his studio in Bamako, the capital of Mali, from 1948 to 1962. Keïta died in 2001.
His work is kept in a number of photographic collections across the world.
The photo of the two women on a scooter is in the Jean Pigozzi Collection of contemporary African art.
The photo is untitled, but dated 1952. The Pigozzi Collection says it can be bought as a 60 cm by 50 cm gelatine silver print.
The photo of the two women was taken 46 years before Abacha died in 1998. If he was poisoned, they didn’t do it. – Jennifer Ojugbeli
Matan da suka sawa Abacha guba? Hoton, Seydou Keïta dan kasar Mali ne ya dauke shi a 1952
“Ga matan da suka kashe Abacha ta hanyar sa masa guba a tuffa.”
Wannan shine taken wani hoto mara kala da ke yawo a Facebook a Najeriya, hoton na dauke da wasu mata biyu a kan babur suna fuskantar mai daukan hoton.
Sani Abacha soja ne da ya mulki Najeriya, kuma ya ke da hannu wajen juyin mulki a kasar a shekarun 1980 zuwa 1990, sa’annan yayi mulkin kasar daga 1993 zuwa 1998.
“Matan da kuka gani sun yi abun da ake zaton ba zai taba yiwuwa ba, wato kashe ‘Abacha’ tsohon shugaban kasa wanda yayi mulki kamar na fir'auna, an boye su daga bayyana a kafafan watsa labarai,” rubutun mai cike da kurakurai ya ce.
Abacha ya rasu a ranar 8 ga watan Juni 1998, jimkadan bayan rasuwar tasa an fara yada jita jitar cewa wasu karuwai ne suka bashi guba a cikin lemon tuffa.
Mai nazarin bincike a majalisar dinkin duniya, a wani rahoto da Newyork Times ta fitar ranar 11 Juli 1998, ya ce: “Janar Sani Abacha, wanda yayi mutuwar bazata a watan da ya gabata, an sa masa guba lokacin da ya ke tare da wasu karuwai guda uku.”
A ranar 15 Juli 1998, Irish Times ta ruwaito cewa gwamnatin Najeriya ta ce: “Abacha ya rasu sanadiyar bugun zuciya ranar 8 ga watan Juni, yayin a ke ta hasashen cewa guba aka sa masa cikin ruwan lemon tuffa lokacin da ya ke tare da karuwai.”
Shin matan da ke cikin hoton su ne karuwan da suka bawa Abacha guba a lemo?
Hoton dai Seydou Keïta ne ya dauka a shekarar 1952
Kafar tantance hotuna a google ta sada mu da hotuna da dama wadanda mai daukar hoton nan da yayi suna dan kasar Mali Seydou Keïta ya wanke a shagon sa da ke garin Bamako babban birnin kasar Mali tsakanin shekarun 1948 zuwa 1962. Ya rasu a shekarar 2001.
Ayyukan sa na nan adane a wuraren adana hotuna a kasashen duniya daban daban.
Hoton matan biyu da ke kan babur na daga cikin kayan tarihin fasahar Africa na ma'ajiyar Jean Pigozzi.
Babu wani suna da hoton ke dauke shi, amma yana da kwanan watan da ya nuna shekarar 1952. Ma’adanar ta Pigozzi ta ce za'a iya sayan hoton mai tsahon santimita 60 da fadin santimita 50 a matsayin bugun dankon azurfa.
An dauki hoton shekaru 46 kafin rasuwar Abacha a shekarar 1998. Idan har ma gubar aka sa masa, ba wadannan matan ba ne. – Jennifer Ojugbeli
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.