A video has gone viral with the narrative that a brave policeman brought down a terrorist at Owo, Ondo State after a church was attacked on Sunday.
In the 30-second video, one could see a man in a bright coloured long sleeved shirt fiddling with a rifle as if trying to pull the trigger.
After about 9 seconds, a man dressed in what looked like a police uniform ran into the man, causing both of them to fall to the ground.
The aftermath of the encounter witnessed several individuals beating up the ‘suspected terrorist’ with another carting away the rifle. Screams by other persons are evident in the background.
Preliminary investigations revealed that gunmen on Sunday, June 5, 2022, attacked the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owaluwa area of Owo, Ondo State, killing several worshippers during the church service, while many others were left injured.
It was learnt that the armed men struck around 11:15am, shooting sporadically into the church while some stationed themselves at the entrance of the church to prevent members of the congregation from escaping.
One of the priests of the church, Rev. Father Andrew Abayomi, explained that the gunmen operated for about 25 minutes, shooting into the church.
He said, “We were about to round off service. I had even asked people to start leaving, that was how we started hearing gunshots from different angles.
“We hid inside the church but some people had left when the attack happened. We locked ourselves in the church for 20 minutes. When we heard that they had left, we opened the church and rushed victims to the hospital.”
Some netizens on Twitter and nairaland had posted the video with the caption, “Brave policeman allegedly brings down one of the gunmen” which generated several reactions from other tweeps and members of the nairaland forum.
Many called out the posters of the video and labeling it as fake news Whe others claimed that the video originated in Togo a few days ago.
An in-depth key frame analysis of the video using InVid, a verification tool, returned a result. Running a reversed image search of the screenshot revealed that the video had been posted on Twitter precisely on June 3 two days before the Owo attack, by a user, Angelo Barnabo.
Though the caption was written in French, it was interpreted thus: “A hero, the bravery and promptness of this agent is to be saluted and encouraged. May he heal from the wounds and may the eternal grant him long life and promotion.”
Having established that the video was shot and posted on the internet days before the Owo attack, Daily Trust can reliably confirm that the video in circulation was not from the Owo incident.
However, the exact time and location of the now viral video has not been ascertained. The claim that a brave policeman brought down one of the gunmen during Owo attack is therefore false and misleading.
This fact check was produced in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).