Photo shows Nigerian politician with movie make-up on, not injuries from an attack

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Social media users have claimed that a photo shows the bloodied face of Nigerian Labour Party member Olumide Oworu after he was attacked on the purported orders of a rival days before a state election in Lagos. But the claim is false: the image shows Oworu, who is also an actor, wearing make-up on a movie set.

Hope the whole world have seen what Desmond Elliot did to Olumide. This won’t stop his retirement (sic),” reads a tweet published on March 16, 2023.

The tweet, which has since been deleted, was retweeted more than 4,100 times.

The claim was also made on Facebook here.

Elliot, of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), successfully defended his state assembly seat in Lagos for a third term in elections held on March 17, 2023.

Lagos state is a stronghold of the APC and all current members of the state assembly are from the party.

The polls were held to choose governors in 28 of Nigeria's 36 states and state assembly lawmakers. Governors in the remaining eight states had earlier been chosen in by-elections due to court rulings.

The APC won (archived here) the majority of governorships, according to results released on March 21, 2023.

Oworu – who had announced his intention to run against Elliot but did not feature on the electoral list (archived here) – said he and his team were attacked while campaigning on March 16, 2023. Elections in Nigeria are often marred by violence and voter intimidation.

Elliot condemned the attack on Oworu.

“Mr Elliot is peaceful and law-abiding and has enjoined his teeming supporters to remain law-abiding,” his media office said in a statement on March 17, 2023.

The claim that the picture shows wounds sustained by Oworu during the assault is false.

Photo from movie set

By conducting a reverse image search, AFP Fact Check found that the photo was online months before Oworu tweeted about the attack.

Oworu published the now-deleted photo on his Instagram page on October 3, 2022, with the caption: “Alagbado John Wick #OnTheEdge”.

While the movie is yet to be released, Oworu is a star of a popular sitcom “The Johnsons” and starred in a Netflix original series “Far From Home” in 2022.

The actor had tagged another Instagram account called “@carinasfx”, which reshared the image on October 7, 2022.

“Stages of eye swelling,” the caption read.

According to its bio, the account is run by a film make-up and special effects artist. It also published several photos of other actors with make-up on movie sets.

Nigeria elections 2023