IN SHORT: As Nigerians vote for governors, claims have been circulated online that a candidate for a seat in the key state of Lagos has been attacked. But the photo used as evidence is six months old.
A photo of Olumide Oworu, the Labour Party candidate for the Lagos State House of Assembly to represent Surulere Constituency I, has been circulating online with the claim that he was injured when thugs attacked his campaign event.
Oworu, a 28-year-old actor, is running against the incumbent, an older actor and candidate of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Desmond Elliot.
Several media reports say that Oworu’s supporters and members of his party were attacked by thugs during a campaign meeting on Thursday, 16 March 2023, two days before the governorship and state assembly election. None of the reports say Oworu was injured in the attack.
But Oworu’s photo, his face bloodied, and his white shirt stained with blood, circulated alongside reports of the attack.
“See what they did to Tari. What the thugs Tinubu and Sanwolu breeds in Lagos did to Tari. See our Tari. My heart is broken for Nigeria. Pls VOTE LP Pls,” reads one of the many tweets accompanying the photo.
Oworu is popularly known as Tari, a role he played in the TV series, The Johnsons. This Twitter user, like many Labour Party supporters, blames the APC and its leaders in Lagos, including former governor Bola Tinubu, who is now president-elect, and incumbent governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The photo is also circulating on Facebook with similar claims. See some here, here and here.
But does the photo show Oworu after having been attacked?
Old movie set photo
A Google reverse image search led to a post Oworu made on Instagram in October 2022.
It’s a post of the exact same photo, apparently taken on a movie set. Oworu posted it on his Instagram page on 3 October 2022, with the caption: “Alagbado John Wick #OnTheEdge”.
So the photo is six months old and has nothing to do with the attack on Oworu’s campaign. Therefore, the claim that the photo shows the actor bloodied from the attack is false.
Allwell OkpiResearcher & community manager