As evidence, the 18 February 2021 post shows a photo of a burning helicopter plummeting towards the ground.
“BREAKING NEWS: ESN SHOOTS DOWN NAF HELICOPTER IN ORLU, IMO STATE,” it reads.
“It has been an issue of worry that the Nigerian military comprising the Airforce and Army has an ongoing operation to dismantle Eastern Security Network, ESN in Orlu axis of imo state.”
Military, police clash with ESN in Orlu
A local identified as Chief Thomas Ndudi told Vanguard: “The first day they even used a helicopter to hover around the forest locating the camps of the Eastern Security Network.”
But does the photo in the Facebook post show an air force helicopter shot down by the ESN during the fighting in Orlu on 18 February? We checked.
Image from Digital Combat Simulator World
A reverse image search reveals that the photo is more than four years old – and is computer generated.
Africa Check tracked it down to a video compilation of helicopter crashes taken from the game Digital Combat Simulator World. The image is the opening screen of the video, which was posted on YouTube on 5 November 2016.
It’s not a real photo, and it doesn’t show a Nigerian air force helicopter shot down over Orlu on 18 February 2021.
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.