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Video shows police rescuing pregnant girls and babies from Nigerian ‘baby farm’ in 2013, not 2024 as social media posts suggest

IN SHORT: A video circulating online shows Nigerian police raiding a “baby factory” in the country’s Imo state, but it’s over a decade old.

Nigerian police have in recent years rescued many underage girls from illegal maternity homes where they are forced to bear children to be sold on the black market.

In March 2024, local media reported that police had raided a “baby factory” in Abia state in the south-west of the country and rescued 16 pregnant girls.

However, in April, a video that supposedly shows police rescuing pregnant girls and babies from a “baby farm” in another state – Imo – in the same region began circulating on Facebook in Nigeria. 

A “baby factory” or “baby farm” is a place where organised criminal gangs keep women, usually teenage girls, and have them impregnated by men. Once the babies are born, they are sold.

One instance of the video was captioned: “23 pregnant girls and 4 babies were rescued in a ‘Baby Farm’ in Umuaka Imo state in Nigeria.” 

The claim also appeared here and here. (Note: See other instances at the end of this report). 

But does the video show a “baby factory” raided by the police in Imo state in 2024, as the posts suggest? We checked.

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NigeriaFarm_Misleading

Decade old rescue video 

A Google reverse image search of a screenshot taken from the video led us to a YouTube video shared by news company Al Jazeera in 2013.

According to the Al Jazeera video, Nigerian police rescued 23 pregnant girls and four babies from a “baby factory” in Umuaka, Imo state.

Looking closer at the video in question, the Al Jazeera logo appeared in the bottom left-hand corner. The footage matched the Al Jazeera video report showing a rescue as claimed, but this police rescue happened over a decade ago.

Local media have reported rescue efforts by the Nigerian police in 2024, including here, here and here

The false claim also appeared here, here, here and here.

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