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Viral Video suggesting Kidnapped Ghanaian Children have been found in Benin is False

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Claim: Kidnapped Ghanaian children have been found in Benin.

The children in the video were rescued through Police and vigilante group efforts in Edo State in Nigeria and are from Nigeria, not Ghana.

Full Text

A video being circulated today, 6th May, 2021, by Ghana Trends on YouTube suggests that some missing Ghanaian children have been found in Benin.

The video, as seen below, was posted with the text,

“Missing Ghanaian children found in Benin #shorts”.

(Watch video here)

Video source: Ghana Trends, YouTube

Based on the pidgin being spoken in the video, it was likely that the people were Nigerian as opposed to Beninese. Dubawa set out to find out where this video originated from and if indeed the children in the video have been identified as Ghanaians.

Verification

Initial search using the video from Ghana Trends did not yield any report which tied it to Ghana. No notable media house in the country had also reported on the alleged kidnapping case. This raised a red flag.

Subsequently, further searches on social media revealed that the video was originally circulated in April 2021.

Some of the initial videos circulated on Twitter indicated that a gang of female traffickers had been caught in Benin City, in Edo State of Nigeria, where 70 children were rescued. Another version of this particular video was again posted on Twitter with the same narrative, which generated over 18k views on April, 22, 2021. 

Noting the police station mentioned in the post, Evbuotubu police station, we ran a search on Google to find out what stories would come up.

Image source: Twitter

Dubawa found that indeed, Evbuotubu police station is located at Evbuotubu Road, Ogogugbo, Benin City, Nigeria, Edo state.

Through google search, we came across a Pinterest article with the title, “Police rescues 19 children, others from human traffickers in Edo.” We further followed the source of the story to tribuneonlineng.com.

The article was published by Tribuneonlineng on April 20th, 2021. According to the article, the Edo State Police Command announced that it had, together with a vigilante group “rescued some group of women and children believed to have been trafficked from Ebonyi, Imo, Abia, Anambra and Akwa Ibom States respectively to Evbuotubu in Ekenwan Road axis of Benin City, the state capital.”  The raid is stated to have taken place on April 16th, 2021 and the rescued persons have since been released to the Edo State Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

The same story was again found on the DailyPost Nigeria website and on Instagram. Other news portals, withinnigeria, Channelstv and many others have also published the story. 

There was no mention of Ghanaian children being identified among the rescued children. The children were said to have been kidnapped from Ebonyi, Imo. Abia, Anambra and Akwa Ibom States. 

Conclusion

According to news reports on the video, the children in the video are from Nigeria, not Ghana.

Roselena Ahiable is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Roselena has years of demonstrated work experience in advertising, sales and marketing, having worked with some of the leading brands in Ghana. She has completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, with specialisation in Public Relations and Advertising. She has also received advanced training in print and broadcast journalism. Roselena also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Ghana. As a trained journalist with interest in research, Roselena provides the team insight in news and media trend analysis.

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