Fact Check-Video of men beating woman is from 2021, unrelated to Sokoto student killing

An old video is circulating online with users mistakenly claiming that it shows current events in Sokoto, Nigeria. The clip was shared online as early as Aug. 2021.

Protests erupted in Sokoto after students beat and burned Christian student Deborah Samuel to death on May 12, accusing her of having made "blasphemous" statements about the Prophet Mohammad in a WhatsApp group, according to two witnesses and police (here).

Nigeria is divided into a largely Christian south and mostly Muslim north.

Nigeria's Sokoto state declared an immediate 24-hour curfew to quell the unrest, a May 14 statement from the governor's office said, as protesters demanded the release of the suspects (here).

Social media users are now sharing a video of a woman being dragged from her house and beaten with a stick, alleging that Muslims in Sokoto are currently going door to door looking for Christians and attacking them (here, here, here

here, here, here and here).

One user, here, wrote: “This is another Christians woman killed in Sokoto again after #DeborahSamuel.”

The video, however, is unrelated to recent events in Sokoto.

It was shared as early as Aug. 28, 2021, when it was posted here alongside a caption alleging that the woman depicted, in Kaduna state, was caught for kidnapping and trafficking children.

An existing fact check by The Cable, an online newspaper in Nigeria, reported that the video was referenced in a YouTube video uploaded on Sept. 26, 2021 (here). The clip’s narrator claims the woman was found with three missing children from a community in Kaduna, according to that fact check.

Reuters could not independently verify the contents of the video.


Miscaptioned. The video is not related to the killing of Christian student Deborah Samuel. It dates back to at least Aug. 2021.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.