FACT CHECK: No, these photos are not of Greenfield University students’ abductors

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On Wednesday, some pictures alleged to have been taking during the parade of abductors of Greenfield University students circulated on social media.

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The pictures have been shared on Facebook and Twitter with the claim that the kidnappers have been arrested with the ransom they collected for the release of the students.

The trending photo showed a group of men sitting down with ammunition and wads of cash placed in front of them.

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A blog, Gidi Traffic, with over 1.6 million followers posted the photos with the caption, “PHOTOS: Kidnapped of Greenfield university students reportedly caught with the ransom them collected.”  The tweet, now deleted, had over 300 retweets and 280 likes.

Another Twitter user, @BolanleCole also posted, “JUST IN: To God Be the Glory the kidnappers have been caught with their ransom. Fight on Nigeria, fight on! May God be with us!”

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In April, 20 students and two staff of Greenfield University, Kaduna state, were abducted when bandits attacked the institution. One of the students was released, while five of them were killed by the assailants, who further threatened to kill the others if a ransom was not paid.

In May, the remaining 14 students were released from captivity by their abductors. A parent of one of the abducted students said the bandits were paid N180 million before they were released.

NO EVIDENCE ABDUCTORS OF VARSITY STUDENTS HAVE BEEN ARRESTED

Checks by TheCable showed that the photos being circulated as those of the arrested abductors of the university students are false. The pictures were published in October 2019, showing suspected kidnappers who abducted a wealthy businessman in Sokoto state. The police said they recovered the sum of N10.1 million ransom from the suspects. Here is a video of the parade of the suspects by the police.

In a statement on his Facebook page, Samuel Aruwan, commissioner for internal security and home affairs in Kaduna, debunked the reports of the arrest of abductors of the Greenfield University students.

“Arrest of Greenfield University Students’ Abductors Not Confirmed,” Aruwan said.

“I have been inundated with calls, messages, and emails to confirm if the bandits responsible for the kidnapping of the Greenfield University’s students have been arrested. While it is our desire to see this happen by the grace of God, I cannot confirm the story making the rounds, and I have not received any information related to this from security agencies.”

VERDICT: The report on the arrest of Greenfield University students’ abductors is false. The accompanying photos are not recent and do not have any link with the Greenfield abduction. Evidence shows that the photographs were from 2019.

This fact check was done by Nurudeen Akewushola.



This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.
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