“Breaking News. Gunmen stormed OMOBA police station in ISI ALA NGWA STH by 3am, killed every male officers and freed all inmates,” reads a message posted on the Nigeria-based Facebook group page “Biafra News Channel” on 2 February 2021.
But were all the male officers killed and the prisoners freed in an attack on a police station in the area?
One dead, one injured, station set on fire
But all reports say a single officer, an inspector, was killed in the attack. No news outlet has reported more than one death, and there is no evidence prisoners were freed. The gunmen also raided the station’s armoury.
Africa Check spoke to chief superintendent Geoffrey Ogbonna, spokesperson for the Abia state police, on 3 February. He said it was not true that all the officers in the station were killed and the prisoners freed. One officer was killed, another injured, and guns were stolen.
“Yesterday morning at around 3:30, some unknown hoodlums besieged a police station, attacked officers on duty, then broke into the armoury, carted away some firearms,” Ogbonna said. “They killed one inspector, injured one female officer there and, at the end of it, they set the station ablaze together with vehicles.
“I am just hearing the claim that inmates were freed for the first time. That was not in our report."
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