No, this video does not show Niger's Finance Minister crying amid the military takeover

By: Ankita Kulkarni
August 3 2023

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No, this video does not show Niger's Finance Minister crying amid the military takeover


The Verdict False

The video of former Minister of Justice Marou Amadou has been on the internet since December 2021 and is unrelated to the recent coup in Niger.

Claim ID b6504b9c

On July 26, 2023, the Niger military announced a coup on national television, imposing a curfew, closing the country's borders, and suspending all institutions. Following this, on July 28, the head of Niger's presidential guard, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, declared himself as the head of the state overthrowing the democratic Niger President Mohamed Bazoum, who had been held by military troops since July 19, according to The Conversation. 

A video circulating on Facebook claims that it shows the Niger Finance Minister crying for facing accusations of fraud after the coup. In the video, we can see a man crying on camera before speaking into a microphone. The posts sharing this video are captioned, "Niger Finance Minister Reportedly Burst Into Tears After Being Given 48 Hours By The Military Junta To Account For The Country's Wealth In His Care or Face Firing Squad." The video is also being widely shared across other social media platforms with similar narratives.

However, the video does not show the current Niger Finance Minister and has no connection with the recent coup. 

In fact

A reverse image search of a screenshot from the viral video led us to a Facebook post shared by an account named Damagaram Post on December 28, 2021. The English translation of the caption reads, "Former Minister of Justice Marou Amadou is crying after being appointed Niger's ambassador to Ethiopia." 

The same video was also posted on X (formerly Twitter) on December 29, 2021. The caption, in Arabic, reads, "The crying of the former Minister of Justice (2011-2021), Mr. Maro Amadou, during his praise of the former presidents of Niger, especially the former President of the Republic, Muhammadu Issoufou, with whom he worked for (10) years as Minister of Justice, is causing controversy on social media."

A report published by news outlet, on April 21, 2011, states that Marou Amadou was appointed as "Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals, Government Spokesperson" in the newly formed government under President Mahamadou Issoufou. 

An article by the Nigerien media outlet ActuNiger, published on December 3, 2021, notes that Amadou was Minister of Justice from 2011-21 and worked with former President Mahamadou Issoufou for ten years. It states that Amadou was later appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Niger to the Federal Republic of Ethiopia in 2021 and represented Niger to the African Union and the Economic Commission for Africa.

The viral video actually shows Amadou crying after being appointed as Niger's ambassador to Ethiopia.

The current Nigerien Financial Minister is Ahmat Jidoud, who was appointed on April 7, 2021, by President Mohamed Bazoum. Jidoud's official X account bio reads, "Official account of the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Niger, Dr Ahmat Jidoud." We also compared the physical appearances of Ahmat Jidoud with the person seen in the viral video, and they are entirely different.

The above evidence clarifies that the person seen in the viral video is not the current Finance Minister of Niger, and the narrative being shared along with it is also incorrect. 

The verdict

An old and unrelated video of former Nigerien Minister of Justice Marou Amadou from 2021 has been incorrectly shared as the current Nigerien Finance Minister crying after being asked "to account for lots of stolen money or face execution by firing squad" amid the recent military takeover. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before