No evidence man standing on Nigerian flag in viral photo is Peter Obi’s son

Claim: A photo of a man in Biafran apparel, standing on Nigeria’s flag at an event which looks like a protest ground outside Nigeria, has a caption that suggests the person is Oseloka Obi, son of a frontline presidential candidate, Peter Obi. 

No evidence man standing on Nigerian flag in viral photo is Peter Obi's son

There is no evidence to show that the person in the viral photo is Peter Obi’s son. Mr Obi’s media team however described the photo as unrelated. 

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On Sunday, July 3, 2022, social media was awash with photos of two young men placed side-by-side to depict that Oseloka Obi, son of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, was standing on Nigeria’s flag and advocating for actualisation of Biafra Republic. 

No evidence man standing on Nigerian flag in viral photo is Peter Obi's son
Screenshot of posts claiming Oseloka Obi was the one standing on Nigeria’s flag 

While one of the photos was that of a man in Biafran apparel standing on a Nigerian flag, the other is a headshot of Oseloka Obi. 

The photos were widely circulated on Twitter and Facebook with several comments suggesting that Peter Obi cannot be trusted with the future of Nigeria. 

One of the tweets with the photos was captioned: “2023: Peter Obi and the Dilemma of Nation Building- The man standing on the defaced Nigerian flag is Gregory Oseloka Obi, the son of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, @peterObi. Think deeply before you hand over Nigeria to his father to manage.”

DUBAWA observed that the photos have generated arguments between supporters of Mr Obi and other social media users. 

A Twitter user, ‘Bettors Companion’ asked the presidential candidate to apologize because of the tweet portraying his son in a bad light. 

He wrote, “@peterObi please come and apologise for this tweet which portrays your son in a bad light”. 

Another user, @OKARIA noted, “How old is he; is he a child or an adult? If he is a child ask his father, if he is an adult hold him responsible for his action. You are complaining about the man standing on the flag, not those that fired the shots that soiled the flag. # cheap blackmail”. 

Some users were, however, quick to note that the photo was fake and unrelated. 

No evidence man standing on Nigerian flag in viral photo is Peter Obi's son
Some comments on the tweet

Looking at the controversies the photo has generated give Dubawa a reason to verify the claim. 

Verification

DUBAWA conducted a Google reverse image search on the photo of the man with a Biafran crested vest. Results from the search show that the earliest version of the photo appeared online on 1st September 2021 in a tweet by a Pro-Biafra Twitter account created in August 2020. 

The tweet had a caption: “That is the zoo Flag. Nice one.”

No evidence man standing on Nigerian flag in viral photo is Peter Obi's son
Screenshot of the earlier version of the photo being circulated 

Further search by DUBAWA showed that the same photo since 2021 has been widely circulated on social media by pro-Biafra agitators as seen here, here among other places. 

In the photo, there was a police vehicle in the background of the post. However, checks by DUBAWA show that the car is a German police car in Munich

When DUBAWA conducted a keyword search, “protest of Biafra in Germany,” it led us to a report by Saharareporters with a caption: “Biafra Supporters Storm British Embassy In Germany, Demand Nnamdi Kanu’s Release”. 

According to the report, the Biafra supporters staged a demonstration at the British Embassy in Berlin, Germany over the arrest of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB),  Nnamdi Kanu by the Nigerian government. 

Shreds of evidence gathered from the footage of a video attached to the report led DUBAWA to a live stream on a Biafra Facebook page. The video was captioned: “IPOB demand the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and a referendum on #Baifraexist”. 

DUBAWA discovered that the placards and environment where the photo was taken were the same as the one in the video

When DUBAWA conducted another reverse image search on the second photo in the post, results show that the image belongs to Oseloka Obi, the son of Peter Obi. 

DUBAWA discovered that Oseloka Obi is a Hollywood actor and a member of the Actors Guild of Great Britain UK and goes by the stage name ELOKA IVO. 

An image comparison of Oseloka Obi and the man with a Biafran crested vest showed some remarkable differences in size and other features.

No evidence man standing on Nigerian flag in viral photo is Peter Obi's son
Comparing Oseloka Obi photo with the man standing on Nigeria’s flag. 

Although DUBAWA could not get details about the man standing on the Nigerian flag in the video, findings from an in-depth analysis suggest that  Oseloka Obi is different from the person the social media users were trying to portray him to be. He lives in the UK, but the protest where the photo was taken happened in Germany. 

Also, DUBAWA contacted Valentine Obienyem, the media adviser to Mr Obi who described the tweets as “desperation of the opposition.”

Mr Obienyem insisted that Oseloka Obi, who lives in the UK, did not step on Nigeria’s flag.

He added, “the said young man is not Mr. Peter Obi’s son, who, by his strict upbringing marked by rigorous discipline, understands what civic duty and responsibilities entail.

“Mr. Oseloka Obi is about six feet and taller than his father; while the young man they used for the mischief is slightly above 5 feet.”

Conclusion

There is no evidence to show that the person in the viral photo is  Peter Obi’s son. Mr Obi’s media team described the photo as unrelated while DUBAWA discovered that the photo was taken during a protest in Germany. 

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