Back to Africa Check

No, military has not overthrown Nigeria’s government or suspended political parties and activities

On Nigeria’s Democracy Day on 12 June 2022, a post on Facebook in Nigeria claimed the Nigerian government had been overthrown and all political parties and activities suspended.

The post read: “Breaking News!! Military overthrows thé Nigérian Govt and all political activities & parties have been suspended immediately.”

Is any of this true? We checked.


No military coup in Nigeria

In 2018 president Muhammadu Buhari declared 12 June Democracy Day in Nigeria in honour of Moshood Abiola, the winner of the annulled 1993 presidential election. 

Buhari’s 12 June 2022 address to Nigerians was televised and reported by local news organisations. This would not have been possible if a coup had taken place.

A search of the Nigerian army’s website and Twitter handle returned no result that the military had staged a coup or taken over the government. 

We also looked at the website of the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission and its social media handles. We found no evidence that political parties or activities have been suspended. 

And the biggest sign that the statement was fabricated is that there were no reports in Nigeria’s mainstream media or the international press, as you would expect if it were true.

Nigeria transitioned from military to civilian rule in 1999 and since then there have been five successive general elections. The next general elections are scheduled to be held in January and February 2023.

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.