A video has been circulating on Facebook and YouTube claiming that the Nigerien Finance Minister was crying over money laundering allegation.
He was said to have been arrested by the military in the country and threatened with execution if he failed to give an account of state finances.
The video surfaced amid the coup plot against President Mohammed Bazoum-led government in Niger Republic.
The video has been shared multiple times on Facebook with the caption “Niger Republic’s alleged finance minister, Ahmat Jiroud after being told by the military government to account for the country’s stolen funds or face execution in 48 hours.”
Bazoum has been held in his palace since week by Niger’s Presidential Guard.
On Friday, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, Head of the presidential guard, was announced as the country’s new leader.
Tchiani, who has headed the Presidential Guard since 2011, said the coup was the military’s response to “the degradation of the security situation” linked to jihadist bloodshed.
But the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had on Sunday given Niger coupists one-week ultimatum to restore democratic order in the country or risk military action.
In response to ECOWAS’ threat to use force upon the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum, the Niger military issued a warning about “the consequences that will flow from any foreign military intervention,” saying, “Certain dignitaries…are in thinking of confrontation,” which “will end in nothing but the massacre of the Nigerien population and chaos.”
The current Minister of Finance in Niger is Ahmat Jidoud who is light-skinned as against the dark-complexioned individual in the video.
An analysis of the video using the Google Image reverse search revealed that the clip was first posted in December 2021, mostly on Facebook.
A user posted in Hausa and it translated to “Former Minister of Justice Marou Amadou is crying for joy after being appointed as Niger ambassador in Ethiopia.”
Others posted in French and it translated to them calling him “a hypocrite.”
In a bid to find a longer clip with a better explanation, a search via InVid revealed a video of the former minister wearing the same outfit and being interviewed.
Using the translate option, he was seen complaining about the crisis in the country and the slow response from the government.
In the comment section, some called him out for not speaking up for years, others said he is only speaking now because he was no longer a part of the government.
Based on available data, we can confirm that the claim that the Nigerien Minister of Finance, Ahmat Jidoud has been arrested is misleading. The video in circulation is that of the former Minister of Justice, Marou Amadou.