Video shows protest against tribunal ruling in Osun, not attack on Lagos traders

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Posts circulating with a video on social media in Nigeria claim the footage shows a group protesting an alleged attack on ethnic Igbos in Lagos after the presidential election in February. But the claim is false: the video was filmed at a demonstration in January after a tribunal sacked a governor in Osun state, not Lagos.

"Even our Yoruba brothers for Lagos para yesterday, after thief people go dey look for their Igbo brothers to go steal and destroy their properties," reads a tweet shared on March 4, 2023.

A screenshot of the false tweet, taken on March 5, 2023

Written in Nigerian Pidgin, the tweet translates to: "Even our Yoruba brothers in Lagos were angry yesterday after people sought out the Igbos to steal and destroy their properties."

The 2' 20" clip shows protesters marching along a street and chanting in Yoruba and Nigerian Pidgin. It was published by Nigerian singer Charles “Charly Boy” Oputa and has been retweeted more than 1,700 times.

Oputa has a history of spreading election-related misinformation and was the subject of an AFP Fact Check debunk.

He shared the tweet days after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Bola Tinubu, the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the presidential election held on February 25, 2023.

Tinubu lost the election in his Lagos stronghold — where he had once been governor — to the Labour Party’s Peter Obi whom Oputa supported. Obi, like Oputa, is Igbo.

There were reports of attacks on Igbo traders in parts of Lagos, southwest Nigeria, after the election. Incumbent governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, acknowledged "friction" in parts of the state and called for calm.

"There is no need for violence, as it is not part of our culture," Sanwo-Olu said on Twitter on February 27, 2023. "I urge all Lagosians to go about their businesses without any fear of harassment."

However, the claim that the video shows a crowd protesting an attack on Igbos in Lagos is false.

Video from Osogbo

Using the InVID video verification tool, AFP Fact Check found that several social media accounts posted the original footage in January 2023 - a little less than a month before the polls.

This tweet explained that the video showed people protesting over the recent tribunal judgment against the "populist governor Adeleke".

Nigerian newspaper The Punch published a similar video from the protest on Twitter a few days earlier on January 27, 2023.

A tribunal sacked Ademola Adeleke as governor of Osun state in southwest Nigeria on January 27, 2023. The court ruled there had been overcounting in his favour and declared the APC’s Isiaka Oyetola the winner of the gubernatorial election held in July 2022.

In the clip shared in the false claim, a woman chants "Tribunal judgment we no go gree" at the 35-second mark.

And 55 seconds into the video, a man dressed in a white T-shirt and a red baseball cap is seen rallying the crowd, shouting "ole", a Yoruba word for thief. The language is predominantly spoken in southwest Nigeria.

The man also referred to Oyetola, Tinubu and APC as thieves.

Several Nigerian news outlets reported that protesters marched on the streets of Osogbo after the judgment was delivered.

Meanwhile, the flyover below which the protest was held has the same features as the one found in Osogbo, the capital city of Osun state, not Lagos.

Screenshots show the similarities between the the Ilerioluwa Flyover in Osogbo, top, and the venue of the protest in the video , taken on March 6, 2023

Read AFP Fact Check’s election-related coverage here.

Nigeria elections 2023