FACT-CHECK: Did Benin #EndSARS Protesters Break Into Prison To Free Prisoners?

VERDICT: Misleading

CLAIM:

On Monday October 19, 2020, inmates of the Nigeria Correctional Centre in Benin, Edo State escaped from the facility at the peak of the #EndSARS protest.

A report published by Goldennews, claimed that #EndSARS protesters clamouring for an end to Police brutality broke into a correctional facility in Sapele Road Benin to free inmates. Attached to the report was  a 39 seconds video showing a crowd of people running helter-skelter. At the background was a lady shouting “prisoners have been freed, they are running”.

In another report by Newsflash247, the protesters around Kings Square in Benin City were said to have broken the walls of the headquarters’ of facility, gained entrance and freed the inmates.

FACT:

Investigation carried out by fact-checkers at Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) showed that the claim on prisoners escaped in Benin facility is true.

However checks by the Centre also revealed that the protesters in Benin denied freeing the inmates as this is the work of hoodlums who were not part of the #EndSARS protest. In the videos seen on social media the hoodlums were seen caring sharp objects, stick which was against the peaceful protest.

More checks by CDD fact checkers, shows that the prison doors were not broken as at the time of the prison break, the walls were also intact, this however leaves a question to the above claim.

Who released the inmates and where were the warders. To further investigate the claim CDD fact checkers also found out that the prisoners were seen with traveling bags, headsets all intact and running.

Also checks by the centre showed that the Nigerian police confirmed the incidence on their official Twitter handle. The police said “regrettably the unfortunate attacks on Police Facilities in Ugbekun Police Station, Oba Market Police Station and Idogbo Police Post by persons posing as ENDSARS protesters in Benin, Edo State, today, Monday, 19th October, 2020 is true.

Conclusion:

The claim that prisoners in Benin prisons being set free is true. However as earlier claimed, the protesters were not involved in the Benin prison break but the work of the unknown hoodlums

The police confirmed the claim on the attacks on Police Facilities in Ugbekun Police Station, Oba Market Police Station and Idogbo Police Post by persons posing as ENDSARS protesters in Benin, Edo State on Monday, October 19, 2020.

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity stories before sharing them.

You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa