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Prominent Nigerian lawyer Daniel Bwala denies that victim in viral bullying video is his daughter

IN SHORT: Another bullying incident has rocked Nigeria, with social media users claiming that the victim is the daughter of prominent lawyer Daniel Bwala. But he has issued a statement denying the claim and condemning the attack, which was caught on camera.

Social media users in Nigeria have reacted to a viral video of a secondary school student seemingly being bullied by her classmate.

The federal government has set up a committee to investigate the incident, which took place at the Lead British International School in the capital Abuja.

The alleged attacker has reportedly apologised to the victim, while the government closed the school for three days following the incident.

In 2021, Sylvester Oromoni, a 12-year-old boy at Dowen College in Lagos, died after he was allegedly attacked by senior students for refusing to join a cult.

After news of the latest incident broke, several X (formerly Twitter) users claimed that the assaulted girl was Daniel Bwala’s daughter.

Bwala is a lawyer and former campaign spokesperson for Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate for Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election.

Part of one X post, dated 23 April 2024, reads: “Greetings @BwalaDaniel, here is video evidence showing your daughter being bullied by a girl and her fellow cohorts in school. (Lead British International School).”

Similar posts can be found on Facebook here, here, here, here, here and here.

But is the girl in the video the lawyer’s daughter? We checked.

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Bullied girl ‘not my daughter’, says Bwala

On 23 April, Bwala denied the claim on his verified X account, saying that the victim was not his daughter.

Bwala lauded the girl for showing restraint and not retaliating but said “if it were any of my children, the scenario would not go without a fight in exercise of self defense”.

The politician also said that bullying and violence had no place in Nigeria: “I have reported the incident to law enforcement because it could have been anybody’s daughter, since violence and bullying is not acceptable in our society.”

The Guardian newspaper also reported Bwala’s statement. 

The victim’s parents have spoken to the media about the impact of the ordeal on their daughter and the family.

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