Claim: A video of a young man seen slapping a soldier after doing sit-ups is alleged to have been filmed during the March 7, 2023, military operation at Ashaiman in Accra.
Verdict. False. DUBAWA’s checks had shown that the viral video was shot at Old Tafo in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region during the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Scores of military men and women besieged Ashaiman, a suburb of Accra, where they allegedly brutalised residents over the death of a young soldier, Trooper Imoro Sherrif.
The soldier, 22, was reportedly murdered on Saturday, March 4, 2023, while on his way to visit his family, the Deputy Minister of Defence, Kofi Amankwa-Manu, told Accra-based Joy News. The Ghana Armed Forces, in a statement, has also confirmed the report. See line 4 of paragraph 1 of the press release issued by the Ghana Armed Forces.
In reaction to the soldier’s killing, the military High Command sanctioned the “well-coordinated operation…to find the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” the Deputy Minister of Defence had revealed. The video of the Minister’s interview is here starting from minutes 9:37 to 10:41, as shared on YouTube.
Ghanaians have roundly condemned the behaviour of the soldiers after social media was awash with videos and pictures of the military operation at Ashaiman.
While some videos in circulation were filmed during the military brutalities at Ashaiman, others are not related to the incident.
In one such video, a young man in a red shirt slapped a military officer wielding a gun after he was made to do sit-ups with two others. The video was shared by a Twitter user with the account name M_Thomas hours after news of the brutalities at Ashaiman broke.
Twitter data showed that as of March 8, 2023, the video had been viewed 38,534 times, retweeted 115 times, quoted 19 times and liked 852 times.
DUBAWA reviewed news reports and conducted a keyword search on the brutalities to verify the video’s authenticity.
Results of DUBAWA’s checks showed that the video has no relation to the brutalities at Ashaiman. Records showed that Accra-based Poleeno Multimedia posted the video two years ago during the COVID-19 lockdown in Ghana.
Also, a Ghanaian blogger with the Instagram account name Christvofficial posted the video on April 1, 2020.
The video was filmed at Old Tafo in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region in 2020 when a combined team of police and military officers were charged to enforce the government’s lockdown directive across the country to control the spread of COVID-19.
Similarly, a keyword search conducted by DUBAWA revealed that the incident captured in the video occurred in 2020 in the Ashanti Region.
It is, therefore, incorrect to associate the video with the incident at Ashaiman.
The video of the young man seen slapping a military officer for punishing him is an old one, as confirmed by multiple sources, and has no relation whatsoever to the March 7, 2023, military brutalities at Ashaiman.