Fact-CheckNews

WhatsApp Video Claims Interpol Uncovered £20M In Obaseki’s UK Account But This Is False

A video circulating on WhatsApp claims that Interpol uncovers £20 million Edo State Funds in Governor Godwin Obaseki’s UK account. 

The video was also uploaded to Facebook by a page with the name POI Mandate 2020 and has generated 1,000 reactions. 

The short video, which claims to have originated from FCTV, uses a robot voice over and features a video insert with some people yelling “Obaseki Ole!”

A fact-check has also  revealed that the story is untrue. The claim that Interpol uncovers £20 million in Obaseki’s UK account is false and misleading. 

Full Text

A one-minute-and-fifty-seven seconds video claiming that Interpol uncovered £20 million in Governor Obaseki’s UK account was circulated widely on WhatsApp. 

“Interpol uncovers £20 million Edo funds in a UK account,” the video claims. 

“After his tenure as a governor in Edo State, South-South Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Obaseki may be facing charges bothering corruption and money laundering here in France. 

“This is following a confession made by a Commissioner of Culture and Tourism Mr. Osemwingie-Ero who was arrested in November 2019 with about £2 million in France. 

“According to our sources, Mr. Obaseki who was in the company of his aide Mr. Osemwingie, was not arrested due to his immunity as a sitting governor,” the video added. 

“However, the Interpol has yet again, relying on investigations through confessions made by the suspect, another £20 million has been uncovered stuck in a UK account in London by the Governor Godwin Obaseki. 

“The money was lodged in five different transactions of five million, two million, eight million, three million and two million pounds, between February 2018 and August 2020.

Technical Analysis

Using Keyframes video analysis tool on the Fake News Debunker by InVID, the logo used on the video was traced to Khatni Khabar K, an Indian news page on YouTube. 

While FCTV (Falmouth Community TV) exists, the video logo of the television is totally different from the one in the video which, according to KeyFrame analysis, was taken from the YouTube page mentioned above. 

Using VeeScore Youtube analysis, the voice over the video was found to be using a poorly produced robot generated spoken audio via  Application Programming Interface (API). 

Commissioner, not Obaseki, faces money laundering charges

Newspapers reported that Edo State Commissioner  for Art, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Osaze Osemwingie-Ero, was arrested in France for alleged money laundering in December 2019. 

“Osemwingie-Ero was reportedly arrested and detained by INTERPOL in France in November for being in possession of $2m,” The Punch reported. 

“Rumour had it that the money was given to him by Governor Godwin Obaseki as he accompanied the governor on the foreign trip.

However, “Edo State Government in its reaction on Monday said the alleged arrest of Osemwingie-Ero had nothing to do with Governor Obaseki.” 

An undisclosed government official told The Punch that “the state government was aware of the questioning of Odemwingie-Ero by INTERPOL for an offence committed before he was appointed by Obaseki.” 

Conclusion 

Although the Edo State Commissioner was arrested by INTERPOL in France for money laundering, there is no evidence that the money belongs to the governor of the state. 

No new revelations by INTERPOL has suggested that the international security operatives are investigating Governor Obaseki, as the video claims. The claim is false.

This fact-check is produced per HumAngle partnership with the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in Nigeria 


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