By: Ankita Kulkarni
August 4 2023
Enyinnaya Abaribe has refuted the claim stating that the rumors are “fake news" and "damned lies.”
A post shared by a local Nigerian media outlet, Igbo Times Magazine, on X (formerly Twitter), dated July 27, 2023, claims that “Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, a well-known Nigerian politician, was reportedly shot dead at his home in Abia State.” The post includes Abaribe’s image and three other images purported to show that he was "shot dead." The first image shows a black car on the street, the second shows two different cars, three people standing in the road near boxes and papers on the ground. The third shows the same black car as seen in the first image, as well as another vehicle and a man in black clothes running across the street. The post has gained 47,000 views so far. The archived post can be found here.
However, the claim is a hoax.
Logically Facts have confirmed that Enyinnaya Abaribe is alive. There are no local or international media outlets reporting on his death. A post on X (formerly Twitter) from a Senior Special Assistant on Media to Lagos State Governor, Wale Ajetunmobi, (@Riddwane), states, “This is fake news. Senator Abaribe just replied a text message to him, saying: “I’m presently in the senate chambers.” Abaribe's LinkedIn profile also mentions the same designation.
A report published by Vanguard, a daily newspaper based in Lagos, Nigeria, on July 30, 2023, included a statement by Abaribe himself, who confirmed the story was fake. He said, “I want all Nigerians to know that this is the second time that particular news site called Igbo Times has come out with this type of fake news about my death. So, let everybody see everything that comes from Igbo Times as nothing but lies and lies, damned lies!”
Another report by Vanguard on July 29, 2023, detailed the commencement of the screening of the 28 ministerial nominees that were sent to the Senate by President Bola Tinubu. Speaking to Vanguard on the topic, Abaribe stated, “The screening of the ministerial list will not be different. Nothing has changed to give any signal of a change in methodology.”
Furthermore, the images used in the post are old and have been picked from unrelated incidents. The first and third images originate from a report published by BCC News on September 12, 2022. The images are from the incident when Senator Ifeanyi Ubah’s convoy was attacked by gunmen in Anambra state, Nigeria. It adds that five of his aides were dead in the attack while the senator managed to escape as the vehicle he was traveling in was bulletproof.
The second image is also old. We found the image in a 9 News Nigeria report dated September 30, 2021. It states that Federal House of Reps Member Hon Chris Azubogu’s Convoy was attacked by unknown gunmen in Nnobi, a town in Nigeria, and one of his drivers was killed.
It is evident that unrelated images from different incidents have been falsely purported to show that Enyinnaya Abaribe was recently shot dead. A similar claim was also viral back in January 2023, amid the elections, that was debunked by Africa Check, which can be read here.
Enyinnaya Abaribe is alive, he has confirmed this himself. Posts claiming his death are a hoax. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.