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No, crying man not Niger’s finance minister facing firing squad after coup – video filmed in 2021

IN SHORT: Social media users claim a man in a viral video is Ahmat Jidoud, weeping because Niger’s coup leaders have given him 48 hours to account for the country’s stolen money or be executed. But it actually shows former justice minister Marou Amadou in 2021. 

A video of a man in a white shirt crying uncontrollably as he wipes his face with his green scarf has been circulating online since late July 2023 with the claim that he is Niger’s minister of finance Ahmat Jidoud, and faces execution.


A typical caption reads: “Finance Minister of Niger Republic weeps after being reportedly told by new military junta to account for all the stolen money of the country in the next 48 hours or face execution by firing squad.”

On 27 July Jidoud and several other ministers in president Mohamed Bazoum’s government were arrested by the military during a coup d’etat – a sudden seizure of power – in the west African country.

Bazoum was detained a few days earlier. The military also dissolved Niger’s constitution, suspended institutions, closed the country’s borders and imposed a curfew. General Omar Tchiani declared himself the head of a new military government.

The coup has been condemned by world leaders, including the members of the Economic Community of West African States, or Ecowas.

The video and its claim have spread widely. It can be seen on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. It has also been posted on Twitter (now called X) here, here and here, TikTok here, here and here, on Instagram, on YouTube and on blogs.

But does it show Niger’s finance minister crying after he was given 48 hours to account for the country’s stolen money or face a firing squad?

Marou Amadou weeps after thanking former president

Many of the comments to the video on YouTube and TikTok indicate that it actually shows Marou Amadou, Niger’s former minister of justice, and was filmed in 2021.

This helped us track down the original clip. It was posted on several Niger-based Facebook pages in December 2021, all identifying the man as Amadou.  

One of the captions, machine translated from French, reads: “In tears, Marou Amadou, former minister of justice, thanks Issoufou Mahamadou for having ‘given everything’ to him.”

Mahamadou Issoufou was Niger’s president from 2011 to 2021. He was succeeded by Bazoum.

The incident took place during the launch of the Centre for Studies and Research on Climate in Africa and Human Security, founded by Amadou, on 27 December 2021 in Niamey, Niger’s capital.

In photos of the event Amadou is wearing the same white shirt and green scarf, with the same white background behind him, as seen in the video.

The video has been online since 2021, so it couldn’t be related to the July 2023 coup in Niger. Evidence indicates the crying man is Marou Amadou and not Ahmat Jidoud.


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