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No, Nigerian senator Enyinnaya Abaribe has not been shot and killed. Ignore rumours on social media

IN SHORT: Contrary to social media rumours, Enyinnaya Abaribe has not been shot dead at his home. Pictures claiming to show scenes of his murder are unrelated.

A post circulating on Facebook since July 2023 claims that Nigerian senator, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has been shot dead at his home in Abia state.

“SPARK NEWS Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe Reportedly Shot Dead After His Security Men Gunfight with Gunmen in Abia State,” the post reads.

It then says: "Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, a well-known Nigerian politician, was reportedly shot dead at his home in Abia State. According to reports, an unknown group of gunmen entered his home and opened fire, leading to a gunfight that resulted in the senator's death.Abaribe was a prominent senator from Abia State and had a long history of political activity in Nigeria. He was a key member of the People's Democratic Party and had served as the Minority Leader in the Nigerian Senate.”

Abia is a state in South-East Nigeria. 

Abaribe, a senator representing Abia South senatorial district, has previously criticised former president Muhammadu Buhari’s government. 

In January 2020, Abaribe asked Buhari to resign, accusing him of failing to solve Nigeria’s security problems. 

The Facebook post includes three images: one shows two vehicles with papers scattered on the floor, another shows a black vehicle parked on the side of the road, and a third is the photo of Abaribe in the senate chamber. 

The same post has been published here, here, here, here and here.


‘Fake news and damned lie’ – Abaribe 

There have been no reports by any reputable media organisation that Abaribe has died. The death of such a prominent politician would’ve made headlines.

A Google reverse image search of the first photo in the Facebook post  revealed that it has been online since September 2021. It shows the aftermath of an attack on a convoy belonging to a House of Representatives member, Chris Azubogu, in Anambra state.

Similarly, a Google reverse image search of the second photo revealed that it has been online since September 2022. It shows the scene of an attack on the convoy of Nigerian Senator representing Anambra South, Ifeanyi Ubah.

Abaribe has debunked the claim that he was shot and killed in his home. On 30 July 2023, he told local newspaper Vanguard that the claim is “fake news and [a] damned lie.”

Africa Check debunked a similar claim about Abaribe in January when it was rumoured that he had died from kidney failure in a United Kingdom hospital.

The claim that he was shot dead at his home in July is false.

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