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No proof that Nigeria’s former senate president Saraki beaten up abroad

On 19 November 2019 a Nigerian Facebook user posted a video of a man a dark suit being shoved around by a group of people. 

The caption reads: “Former Senate President Bukola Saraki been mishandled abroad.” It’s been viewed more than 33,000 times so far, and shared at least 6,000 times. 

Saraki’s former deputy beaten in Germany

Saraki led the Nigerian senate from 2015 until he lost his seat, for the Kwara Central constituency in western Nigeria, in the country’s February 2019 elections.

His deputy during that period was Ike Ekweremadu, senator for Enugu West in the south-east. 

In August, Ekweremadu was attacked by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) in Nuremberg, Germany, where he had been invited to speak at a cultural event for Nigeria’s Igbo community.

Biafra is a region in south-eastern Nigeria. Its secession in 1967 sparked a civil war, and sympathisers’ calls for its independence continue.

Ipob members reportedly threatened to attack more Nigerian politicians, especially those from south-east, when they travelled abroad.

But does the video show another Nigerian politician being beaten up overseas?

Congolese governor attacked in France?

Many of the more than 400 comments on the video point out that the man being mishandled is not Saraki. A closer examination of the man in the video by Africa Check supports this view. We have however been unable to establish if it was indeed a governor in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as alleged by some social media users.  

There is evidence that Saraki was in Los Angeles in the US at the time the video was supposedly recorded. 

On 20 November 2019, Saraki tweeted a photo of himself watching the NBA basketball match between the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder, drawing some criticism from Nigerians.

We further did not find credible media reporting on what would have been a newsworthy event. 

We have contacted Saraki’s office for comment. – Allwell Okpi


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