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Peter Obi and Pastor Oyedepo

01.04.2023 Featured FACT-CHECK: Is the Trending Phone Conversation of Peter Obi and Oyedepo a Deepfake?

Published 1st Apr, 2023

By Daniel Ojukwu

An audio conversation reportedly between Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential election, and David Oyedepo, the founder of the Living Faith Church or Winners Chapel, has surfaced online.

In the viral audio, both men can be heard discussing ahead of the February 25 presidential election about the Christian voting community in Nigeria’s southwest and north-central regions, and how to get them to support Obi.

Obi can be heard saying, “It is a religious war,” to which Oyedepo replies, “I believe that.”

READ ALSO: FACT-CHECK: Viral Press Release Claiming LP Dropped Rhodes-Vivour as Lagos Guber Candidate Is False

The story was first published on Saturday evening, and the audio was shared in MP4 format afterwards.

Following its publication, several social media users said it was a deepfake and the voices were AI generated.

CLAIM: Viral audio clip between Obi and Oyedepo is a deepfake.

Social media comments alleging deepfake
Social media comments alleging audio is fake.
More social media comments alleging audio is fake.

VERIFICATION

FIJ subjected the audio to a deepfake test using Deepware, an AI tool used to detect alterations in audios and videos.

Deepware’s deepfake detection technology “was designed to detect deepfake videos or, simply, any fake content in the areas of visual and audio communication“.

The Cable, a Nigerian newspaper, had used the same tool to detect that a supposed audio conversation of Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President of Nigeria, Aminu Tambuwal, the Governor of Sokoto State, and Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State, plotting to rig the 2023 presidential election was a deepfake.

According to Deepware, the Obi-Oyedepo audio was not AI-generated, and it underwent no technological alterations.

Deepware detects alterations in controversial rigging audio

FIJ also analysed the voices in the audio and found unique characteristics that are almost impossible to replicate in deepfakes.

DEEPWARE’S FINDINGS

Deepware  indicating no deepfake detected.
Deepware model result

FIJ was able to establish that no AI was used in generating the voices or modifying the audio, and made efforts that ultimately proved unsuccessful to reach both men for comments.

VERDICT: The audio is not a deepfake.

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Published 1st Apr, 2023

By Daniel Ojukwu

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