Fact Check

Audio from clip showing Nigeria’s president lamenting football team was digitally altered

Copyright © AFP 2017-2024. All rights reserved.

As it becomes increasingly difficult to detect AI-generated content, a clip of Nigeria’s president lamenting the poor performance of English football club Chelsea was widely shared across various platforms and picked up by local media outlets. However, AFP Fact Check found that the video’s audio was altered with an artificial intelligence (AI) program. In the original version of Bola Tinubu’s speech, he did not talk about football.

“I am a fan of Chelsea and I don’t like the way they are losing. Anytime they lose, it gives me a heart attack,” Tinubu is heard saying in the 12-second clip, which was shared in this X post on May 2, 2024.

A screenshot showing the X post, taken on May 9, 2024.

The post has garnered more than 200 reposts and comments, revealing many users appeared to believe that the footage was authentic.

The “X-Daily” account, which posted the video, regularly shares Nigerian-related viral entertainment and lifestyle video content with its 111,000 followers.

The claim also appeared on Instagram here and here as well as on Nigerian news websites.

But the claim that Tinubu decried the fortunes of Chelsea football club is false.

Birthday event

Using the InVID-WeVerify tool, we extracted keyframes from the clip and conducted reverse image searches.

This led to a longer video of Tinubu’s speech uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Nigerian broadcaster Channels Television on March 29, 2024 (archived here).

The 33-minute-long clip was filmed at a presidential gathering with religious leaders as Tinubu celebrated his 72nd birthday. Local media covered the event here and here (archived here and here).

After various clerics addressed Tinubu, he began speaking. In the video, this happens at 17’56”.

In his speech, Tinubu said his administration was determined to address Nigeria’s challenges.

Altered audio detection

A comparison of the video shared online with the original clip run by Channels Television confirmed that the former was an edited version of the latter.

In both versions, Tinubu is seen wearing the same black Kaftan and stands in front of a red microphone while facing the camera from the same angle. His secretary Hakeem Muri-Okunola is sitting to his right while his aide-de-camp is standing behind him.

A comparison of the video from X (left) and ChannelsTV’s YouTube channel (right)

AFP Fact Check found that the altered clip was taken from 19’34” to 19’46”.

AFP Fact Check extracted the audio from the altered video and ran it through Loccus.ai — an audio tool that looks for specific forensic traces left by voice generators.

The result showed a 98% probability the audio was generated with an AI tool.

Screenshot of the Loccus.ai detection result interface, taken on May 9, 2024.

At no point did Tinubu mention football or Chelsea, either.

Chelsea’s ordeal

Known as the “Blues”, Chelsea’s popularity in West Africa may have hinged on former key players from the region like Didier Drogba, Solomon Kalou, Samuel Eto’o, Victor Moses, Michael Essien and John Mikel Obi.

The club has been plagued with injuries and bad results this season (archived here).

May 10, 2024 Name of AI detection tool Loccus.ai corrected



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