Back to Africa Check

No, BBC didn’t apologise for any report on shooting at Lekki toll plaza in Nigeria

A message circulating on Facebook claims that the BBC – British Broadcasting Corporation  – has apologised for its reporting on the shooting of #EndSARS protesters on 20 October 2020 at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos, Nigeria.

It reads: "We apologise on our report on Lekki "Massacre" in Lagos Nigeria; almost all the information we got are false & misleading." The quote is attributed to the BBC. 

Posted on the “I Stand With Buhari” page of a group of president Muhammadu Buhari’s supporters, the message has almost 200 comments, with more than 130 shares.

Some of the comments accuse the BBC of being “corrupt” and an “enemy of Nigeria”. Others point out that the BBC has dismissed the claim.

The BBC was one of several media organisations that reported on the shooting of people protesting police brutality by Nigerian army soldiers at the Lekki toll plaza

Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said at least two of the protesters were confirmed dead, while dozens were wounded in the shooting. But multiple news outlets have reported that at least 12 protesters were killed.

The Nigerian Army has denied involvement in the shooting despite evidence to the contrary and confirmation by the state government.   


‘We were there’

Hours before the message was posted on the “I Stand With Buhari” page, BBC News Pidgin debunked the claim in a tweet

“Fake news alert: We don see dis tori dey fly upandan for WhatsApp and Facebook, dis na fake news,” the tweet reads, in Pidgin. “BBC stand by every report wey we do about wetin happun for Lekki toll gate as we bin dey dia wen di shooting start.”

This translates as: “Fake news alert: We have seen this story flying up and down on WhatsApp and Facebook. This is fake news. The BBC stands by every report we did about what happened at the Lekki toll gate as we were there when the shooting started.” – Allwell Okpi


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.