REPUBLISHED: Obi-Oyedepo’s Leaked Audio Conversation Not Deepfake
On April 1st, 2023, an audio conversation 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, 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.”
The story was first published on Saturday evening, and the audio was shared in MP4 format afterwards. In a telephone conversation leaked to Peoples Gazette, Peter Obi begged Bishop David Oyedepo to help canvass Christian votes on the eve of Nigeria’s presidential election.
Worthy of note, religion became central to the campaign after Bola Tinubu tapped a fellow Muslim running mate in a nation where Christians form a majority. Following its publication, several social media users said it was a deepfake and the voices were AI generated.
Several comments on social media platforms alleged that the audio clip between Obi and Oyedepo was a deepfake. 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. FIJ also analyzed the voices in the audio and found unique characteristics that are almost impossible to replicate in deepfakes. Thus, it was established that no AI was used in generating the voices or modifying the audio, and efforts that ultimately proved unsuccessful were made to reach both men for comments.
The audio clip between Obi and Oyedepo was not a deepfake, contrary to the claims on social media. This revelation is important because deepfake technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated, making it difficult to distinguish between real and fake content.
The fact-checking carried out by FIJ provides clarity and helps to dispel rumors surrounding the audio clip between Peter Obi and David Oyedepo.
Credit: Daniel Ojukwu of FIJ
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