MISINFORMATION The false rumor about the Nigerian restaurant selling human flesh – Bufale.net
– Complete report: link –
Here it goes again the false rumor about the Nigerian restaurant selling human flesh. This time it has been spread by the Swahili section of BBC, article dated 13th of May 2015 with title “Mgahawa wauza nyama ya binaadamu Nigeria“. The news was later on picked up by Telegraph.co.uk on May 17th 2015, article named “Nigerian restaurant shut down for ‘serving human flesh’“.
The story is renown, in Italy was reported, for instance by Blitzquotidiano, Tgcom24 and Il Messaggero last year (February 17, 2014), not to forget many websites of well-known British newspapers:
- Mirror (“Cops shut down restaurant for selling HUMAN flesh“, 12 February 2014);
- Independent (“Cannibal restaurant ‘with roasted human heads on the menu’ shut down by police”, 12 February 2014);
- International Business Times (“Nigeria: Restaurant Served Roasted Human Heads”, February 7, 2014).
First of all, let’s collect the common features present in these articles to make sure they’re all about the very same story:
- a restaurant in Anambra State, Nigeria;
- suspicious people in a market nearby;
- very expensive meat;
- 10 or 11 people arrested;
- bleeding heads found on site;
- presence of weapons, including an AK-47;
- a priest in shock for eating that meat.
It looks like the story did not even take place in 2014, but 2013. Site recognized for having spread this news in first instance is the Nigerian “Osun Defender newspaper“, referring itself again to another source, website Naijazip.com. However, the news was actually reported for the first time on Dailyindependentnig.com, exactly on the 1st of August 2013, with an article entitled “Police arrest 11, recover two fresh human heads in Onitsha“. Sources witnessing the facts regarding “human flesh” are supposed to be a cop (anonymous) and a priest telling he ate at the restaurant and paid a very high price for a portion of meat.
These facts were reported, as said, on August the 1st 2013, in a very approximate way and without any investigation to verify whether story was true, which caused the news to be marked as sensationalistic and incorrect. The same day website Vanguardngr.com presented the facts as they actually occurred. 10 days later Vanguardngr.com published a new article describing the facts in even better and well-structured way – article title “How human heads were concealed in Onitsha hotel room – Suspect“.
According to what we can read there:
- police intervened following a tip-off (made by shopkeepers who eventually became suspicious about the coming and going of people in a hotel – not a restaurant);
- police found three skulls (not two) in one of the rooms;
- police found, along with the skulls, two AK47, bullets, a military cap and few mobile phones.
No word about “kitchens”, “restaurants” or “human meat sellers”. From what we read from other sites publishing the news on August the 2nd, the tip concerned the alleged sale of human flesh, but this claim was later on discarded by the authorities.
Few months later website Ireport.cnn.com reported a chilling story, mentioning even the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), revealing all the events, the background connections and all what happened after the arrest. The article was published on January 26th 2014, with the following title: “Human Heads Saga at Upper Class Hotel: Startling Revelations Emerge“.
The comprehensive research conducted by Bufale.net is available in the article of January 3, 2015 entitled “DISINFORMAZIONE Carne e organi umani nel menù: 11 arresti in un ristorante nigeriano“.
Complete report in english: link
Original article in Italian by David Puente: link
Translated by Tiziano Marasco