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List of Nigerian politicians whose police guards have been withdrawn is fake

IN SHORT: The police’s acting inspector general said he would withdraw officers attached to VIPs. But a list circulating on Facebook with the names of those affected has been fabricated.

The Nigeria Police Force has withdrawn police aides from some top politicians in the country. That’s the claim in what appears to be a screenshot of a document from the police.

The document is dated 12 July 2023 and signed by “MOPOL 45 FHQ ABUJA”. It is headlined: “POLICE WIRELESS MESSAGE.

The message reads in part: “YOU ARE DIRECTED TO WITHDRAW ALL PERSONNEL ATTACHED TO THE UNDERLISTED POLITICIANS.”

It then names some of those allegedly affected.

In June 2023, the police’s acting inspector general, Olukayode Egbetokun, said he planned to withdraw police officers guarding or escorting VIPs.

Egbetokun said this would help in reviewing the force’s priorities and addressing the security challenges facing the country.

The screenshot has also been posted here on Facebook, while other users only posted the text in the message

The list could cause worry over the safety of the politicians and their families.

But is it an official message from the police?

PoliceWithdrawn_False

Fake message, says the police

On 17 July, the Nigerian police warned that the message was fake.

“The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) wishes to address the ambiguity surrounding a signal that has been in circulation on social media, purportedly originating from MOPOL 45 FHQ ABJ, ordering the removal of police aides from certain top politicians and their relatives,” it tweeted

“The police hereby unequivocally clarifies that the signal is fake and did not emanate from the NPF or any of its formations.”

The statement was signed by a spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi

Adejobi also said Egbetokun had called for a thorough investigation into the source of the message.

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