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False! Video of Policeman overpowering a gunman did not happen outside Catholic Church in Owo, Nigeria

Claim: Social media users claim a viral video showing a police officer attacking a gunman in public was taken outside the Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State in Nigeria where n dozens of congregants were killed on Sunday.   

The video is of an incident which happened in Lomé, Togo on June 2, 2022, and not in Nigeria.    

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On Sunday, June 5, 2022, dozens of congregants at the St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in the town of Owo in the Ondo State of Nigeria were massacred by gunmen during service. 

The development was widely reported by different local and international media.   

The majority leader of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, said at least 100 persons were directly affected by the attack including 70 persons who were killed. 

The disturbing development triggered mass social media reactions in Nigeria and even Ghana with hashtags such as #blackchully, #OndoState, #Owo, #OwoIsBleeding and #OwoMassacre being used in the online conversation. 

Accompanying the conversation has been a wave of misinformation including the claim of a police officer attacking and disarming a gunman who was standing outside the church while other gunmen were shooting inside the auditorium.   

The video has been downloaded and shared on several Twitter accounts such as can be seen here and here. and It has since gone viral with some praising the police officer.   



Listening to the 30 seconds clip, a bystander, believed to be the one who recorded the video, is heard speaking the Ewe language (with a Togolese accent) spoken by some indigenous groups in Ghana, Togo, and Benin which makes it unlikely that the video was taken in Nigeria.  

Part of her commentary was also in French. Among other things, the lady is heard saying, [In French] “God”… [In Ewe] “Take the gun away…Take the gun away, take the gun away.”

Another man was heard saying from afar [in Ewe] “kill him at once” to which the lady responded [in Ewe] “I beg, don’t kill him.”

Also, using the InVID verification tool, we extracted photos from the video and ran a Google reverse image search on them; this directed us to this tweet by @angelo_barnabo with the location in his bio stated as Togo.

The tweet, showing an exact scene from the viral video was made on June 3, 2022, more than a at least two days before the Catholic Church killing in Nigeria happened, meaning that the video is of an old unrelated incident. 

C:\Users\HP\Desktop\Togo police.jpg

Further checks showed that some websites such as this, this and this all published content from this incident before the June 5 massacre in Nigeria, reported on the incident and  This goes further to confirmed that it the incident in this video happened in Togo. 

The reports said Togo’s Minister of Security and Civil Protection of Togo, Gal Yark Damehame, confirmed that the incident occurred on June 2, 2022, at the entrance of the Atikpodji market in Lomé.

The gunman was identified as Ousmane Mouhamed Aboubakar, a Chadian trader who seized the gun from two security officers after stabbing them before he was overpowered by other officers nearby.

“[Mouhamed] went to the post located at the entrance to the Atikpodji market where he first stabbed a gendarme in the chest by surprise before wounding seriously his second, who is a policeman… then seized his victim’s weapon, giving the impression of wanting to use it and thus creating a panic at the scene of the crime.”

“Nevertheless, the attacker was brought under control by other agents alerted by the population and with the help of the population,” excerpts of the report read. 


The video claiming that one of the gunmen who attacked the St Francis Xavier Catholic Church at Owo in Ondo State of Nigeria was overpowered by a police officer outside the church is false. 

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