Fact-Check: How Genuine is Leaked Phone Chats of Obasanjo, Charlie Boy, Donald Duke Calling for Mass Insurrection over Elections
Claim: A leaked audio is making the round on the internet allegedly exposing former President Olusegun Obasanjo plotting to incite anarchy across in the land.
Speaking with Nigerian singer Charlie Boy and former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, in the alleged leaked audio, Obasanjo charged them to lead Nigerian youth in revolting against the country and INEC over the Presidential election result which he termed, “rigged.”
Full Text: The audio clip which was exclusively released by Peoples Gazzette (PG) has generated over 521,000 views, 2,879 retweets and 5,694 likes. In the conversation, phone rings, the other end picks and the following chat ensued:
Charly Boy: Baba good evening.
Charly Boy: Good evening sir
OBJ: You tried to call me.
Charly Boy: Yes sir, it’s Charly Boy
OBJ: I know it is you
Charly Boy: I want to ask or confirm if truly because we don’t want fake news anymore if you had really gone to INEC.
OBJ: No I haven’t, I haven’t.
Charly Boy: Okay
OBJ: But they want to steal our victory, we must not allow that.
Charly Boy: Baba just give me a command, what do I do? Or what do we do?
OBJ: You shouldn’t do it alone, you need to occupy Nigeria, alright? It is Nigeria, because in that way, when the country is paralysed then they will find solution, alright? Okay?
Charly Boy: Okay sir, yes sir.
On the SECOND PHONE CALL, the following conversation ensued:
Duke: Well done sir, morning sir.
OBJ: Ahm, I understand they are really bent on rigging this election and stealing it.
Duke: That is what it looks like.
OBJ: Okay, It will not be well.
Duke: It won’t be oo. What do we do sir? Is there anything we can do?
OBJ: Well, we have done all that we can do now but I understand the youth are not accepting.
OBJ: Okay, so we should make sure the youth don’t accept and that is all.
Duke: We need people power now?
OBJ: That is what we remain. The youth not accepting.
Duke: I got a complain from Oyo, Ibadan you know….
OBJ: The people, the youth should not accept. If they want to kill the youth let them kill. And they will not leave after that, alright?
Duke: Alright, okay.
Verification: When PRNigeria could not locate the leaked audio on the official website of the source People’s Gazette, it contacted the publisher an investigative journalist, Samuel Ogundipe who confirmed that it was published on its Twitter Account.
Using speech recognition freeware, PRNigeria extracted the audio clips and compared all three voices against their publicly known voice. While,Artificial Intelligence software can be used to mimicking any voice after a few seconds of listening to it, the Charlie Boy and Duke’s voices both returned 83% and 74% accuracy levels respectively. Obasanjo’s voice returned with 91% accuracy level when PRNigeria subjected the audio to the speech recognition test.
Further investigations by PRNigeria shows that this can be done using Microsoft’s Vall-E, a text-to-speech AI Model that can recreate and match any sample audio it’s been provided with. It can also change the tonality from happy to sad to angry.
While it may be unfathomable for either of the three persons to record themselves and leak the same to the media, it is possible for calls to be intercepted by hackers or intelligence sources.
Not satisfied with findings, PRNigeria also reviewed Charly Boy’s twitter handle, to confirm if he had started mobilising to “Occupy Nigeria” as ordered by Obasanjo in the clip but observed that there was no inciteful tweets from him ever since the conversation allegedly took place. Infact, in one of his recent tweets, he called for calm, stating as follows: “Lovers of a New Nigeria, fellow Obidents no cause for alarm, una try well well. Am proud to belong to the progressive club. Let’s just build on our Unity. It Shall be Well.”
On 28th of February, he also posted a video of activist Aisha Yesufu where she vowed that Obodients will claim their mandate via “legitimate means possible.”
Conclusion: Based on the forensic analysis and calls PRNigeria put through to the source of the leaked phone chat,there was no sufficient evidence of manipulation or faking of the leaked chat, however, there’s also a possibility that AI could be used to mimic the voices.
PRNigeria, therefore, concludes that while there is a degree of authenticity in the leaked audio, there is no sufficient evidence for us to independently and authoritatively confirm whether the leaked chat is True or False.
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