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Plagiarised Facebook post on 2019 elections violence in Nigeria uses photo from 2012 fuel strike

“Scores injured as APC, APM supporters clash in Ogun,” the Facebook page Hope for Nigeria posted on 1 February 2019.

The story was that “pandemonium” broke out in Abeokuta, the largest city of Ogun state in southwest Nigeria, on 31 January “as supporters of the All Progressives Congress and Allied Peoples Movement ... clashed during campaign tour of Abeokuta North Local Government Area of the state”.

Nigeria is set to hold national elections on 16 February 2019.

The post linked to an article on the Hope For Nigeria website. Both the post and the article were illustrated with a grainy photo of people in a crowd, supposedly gathered at the scene of the clash.

Media houses have reported that violence did break out between APC and APM supporters in Ogun on 31 January. In fact, Hope for Nigeria seems to have taken its article word for word from a report by Punch journalist Tunji Bosun.

Stock news photo from 2012 strike

But the photo posted by Hope for Nigeria is not of the incident. A TinEye reverse image search reveals it is a cropped version of a stock news photo available on Getty Images. The original, taken by AFP photographer Pius Utomi Ekpei on 10 January 2012, shows protesters barricading the Lagos-Ibadan expressway during a nationwide strike over fuel prices.

A Google reverse image search reveals that Vanguard published the photo on 9 February 2015 to illustrate a story about a clash between members of the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party in Bariga, Lagos state.

Site plagiarises and misleads

Crosscheck Nigeria recently investigated another post by Hope for Nigeria that claimed the Abuja home of Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar had been besieged by police and Department of State Services officials. Crosscheck rated the post, published on 30 January 2019, as a “deliberate hoax”.

More than this, it was plagiarised from a Vanguard report on a DSS raid on the home of Senator Dino Melaye and the photo used first appeared in 2016.


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