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Video of protesters at seat of Nigerian government old, from 2017

A video is circulating on Twitter in Nigeria with the claim it shows protesters arriving at Aso Rock in the capital Abuja.

The president’s residence, Aso Villa, the supreme court and the national assembly all lie within close proximity to Aso Rock. 

The video has also been shared on several Facebook pages.

It shows a man holding a white envelope trying to push through a line of armed police officers. He addresses the camera directly, saying he wishes to deliver the letter to president Muhammadu Buhari.

The video was posted on 21 October 2020 by a Twitter account calling itself “Anonymous”. 

While the account has a modest number of followers, and shows the flags of Jamaica and Nigeria in its Twitter handle, it is clearly aligning itself with the global hacktivist group Anonymous.

Anonymous is a decentralised group of international activist hackers linked to numerous high-profile hacking incidents. It has been tweeting support for the #EndSARS protests.

The #EndSARS protests against police brutality broke out across Nigeria in early October 2020. On 20 October uniformed officers opened fire on protesters at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos, leading to worldwide condemnation.

The tweet posted with the video reads: “Protesters at the first entrance to Aso Rock with a letter for @MBuhari. Watch the unfolding drama! #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeraNOW #LekkitollgateMassacre #LekkiMassacre.”

But does the video show #EndSARS protesters at Aso Rock? We checked.

Video dates back to 2017

The man in the video is Nigerian activist Ibrahim Wala, popularly known as IG Wala. The video is nearly two years old.

Sahara Reporters, an online news agency, tweeted the video of Wala at Aso Rock on 24 November 2017.

They wrote: “FLASH: Abuja-based activist, IG Wala says @PoliceNG raided his home to enforce a ‘court judgement’ he knew nothing about two days after leading an anti-corruption protest to @AsoRock asking @NGRPresident Buhari to crack down on corruption in MDAs.” 

“MDAs” refers to Nigerian government ministries, departments and agencies

Wala was jailed on 15 April 2019, convicted for falsely accusing a public official of corruption. He was released in April 2020, as part of Buhari’s release of 2,600 prisoners across Nigeria. 

The video is unrelated to October 2020 #EndSARS protests. – Motunrayo Joel


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