Back to Africa Check

Misleading photo of truckload of firearms in US used as false evidence in Nigeria

A Facebook post claims a fake military base, occupied by armed robbers, kidnappers and other criminals, has been discovered at Okpokwu in Benue state, Nigeria.

It says: “These are militias killing people in the disguise of Fulani herdsmen.”

The May 2018 post has been shared 14,000 times. It includes a photo of a truck off-loading a large number of rifles.

Photo used in another false claim

But this photo has been used as false evidence multiple times. Africa Check debunked a false claim about it in July 2017 and another one in May 2019.

The photo was actually taken in 2008 in the US by photographer David McNew for Getty Images, a stock photo agency.

Illegal military base burnt down

On 7 September 2017, Nigerian Channels TV reported that an illegal training school in Okpoga in Benue state was burnt down by the Nigerian navy. 

Twenty-eight fake naval trainees and their commandant were arrested. But there was no report of them being armed robbers, kidnappers or criminals.

The two buildings burnt down look similar to the ones in the Facebook post. However, the picture of the truck-load of guns has nothing to do with Nigeria. – Motunrayo Joel 


Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta'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.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.