This is an impersonator who was arrested in police uniform — not an officer who aided kidnappings in Nigeria

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Thousands of Facebook users have shared a picture that supposedly shows an assistant commissioner of police arrested for aiding kidnapping operations in Nigeria. This is false; according to the Nigeria Police Force, the man in question is simply an impersonator in police uniform who was arrested in January 2019.

Dozens of different Facebook posts claim that the picture shows an assistant police commissioner who was caught alongside kidnappers in either northern or southern Nigeria, or an unspecified location. We’ve archived some of the posts here, here, here, here, and here

A screenshot taken on June 26, 2019 showing a Facebook post claiming this is an assistant police commissioner involved in kidnappings

The same picture has been published out of context by popular Nigerian blogs, including GistMania, and on the home-grown social network Nairaland

We ran a Google reverse image search, which led us to these two websites, archived here and here, which name the man in police uniform as Kingsley Udoyen, who was arrested in January 2019 in Abak, Akwa Ibom State, in southern Nigeria. The second website includes a photo of the man taken from a different angle. 

According to these reports, Udoyen posed as a police officer in order to threaten and defraud members of the public, wearing a uniform procured for him by his girlfriend. 

Police spokesman Frank Mba confirmed to AFP via email that the man is indeed Kingsley Udoyen, and that he was arrested in Akwa Ibom State.

“The suspect in Police uniform with the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police, one Kingsley Udoyen, male, 56years of No. 3, Stadium Road, Abak, Akwa Ibom State is a fake Police Officer and not a serving Assistant Commissioner of Police,” Mba said.

A screenshot taken on June 26, 2019 showing a public notice by the Nigeria Police Force about the case

“He was arrested on 2nd January, 2019 by the Akwa Ibom State Police Command and paraded with other criminal elements by the then Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State Police Command, CP Musa Kimo, now AIG in charge of Zone 6 Headquarters, Calabar.”

Mba said the man “is an impersonator who was posing as an Assistant Commissioner of Police to defraud and threaten unsuspecting members of the public”.

Udoyen has since been arraigned before a Magistrate Court in the state.