A fake website has been circulating on WhatsApp claiming to be the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) recruitment website ( https://portal.inecnigeria.recriutment.online/) for the 2023 ad-hoc staff recruitment.
The website link was attached to a broadcast message sent across different groups on WhatsApp.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was established in 1998 and is the electoral body that oversees elections in Nigeria.
General Abdulsalami Abubakar established the current INEC, with Justice Ephraim Akpata as chairman. Akpata had to deal with 26 political associations, giving only nine provisional registration as political parties for the 1998–1999 elections, eventually whittled down to three parties. Despite efforts to ensure free and fair elections, the process drew serious criticism from international observers.
Professor Mahmood Yakubu is the current INEC chairman, he assumed office on November 9th, 2015, and he conducted the 2019 general election.
Professor Mahmud Yakubu is the current INEC chairman he assumed office on November 9th, 2015, he conduct the 2019 general election and
A click on the link in the claim displays the official badge of the (INEC) with a capitalized headline “INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION AD-HOC STAFF RECRUITMENT 2022“.
It also had a provision for the applicant to fill in personal details: Full Name, Educational Level, State of Origin, and Age Range.
Meanwhile, ROUNDCHECK observed that moving to the next page was not determined by filling in the details; a click on “NEXT” takes you to the next page automatically.
On the second page of the website, a message of congratulation was indicated with applicants required to answer questions to proceed- even without filling the first page.
The three questions asked were about employment status, means of identification, and gender.
A response to the question takes the applicant to the next stage of the claimed application. In this stage, applicants are required to share the post with fifteen persons or 5 groups on WhatsApp to create more publicity for the program which gives the opportunity to “fill out the staff form”.
ROUNDCHECK has fact-checked different recruitment and jobs claims where we found that sites asking applicants to share links to friends or groups till ‘a bar is full’ are always SCAM.
Upon sharing with different groups or individuals, applicants were asked to answer a question which was “which country was named the giant of Africa? After providing the answer, applicants would then be directed to the final stage where they are congratulated for the second time.
After this, the applicants were asked to click any button to get funds that do not relate to the recruitment process.
Upon clicking any of the stated sections, applicants are redirected to another page of a raffle draw that does not pertain to the recruitment requirements of Ad-hoc staff by INEC.
Using Site Verification Tool
To prove the authenticity of the website further ROUNDCHECK made use of whois domain lookup. Data from the check revealed that the owner of the domain does not relate to INEC or the Nigerian Government.
Also, Scam adviser revealed that the website is suspicious with a trust score of 5/10. This implies an authenticity doubt against the website.
INEC Debunk Fake Link
Finally, ROUNDCHECK visited the website of INEC to confirm the claim. However, the press release on their social media pages had another recruitment process link ( https://pres.inecnigeria.org/) which is the authentic site.
Individuals who wish to apply after fulfilling the “eligibility requirements” with their mobile phone are advised to download the mobile app for only androids from their apps store while applicants with their personal computer (PC) are advised to visit the recruitment website to complete the application process.
In a disclaimer issued by INEC on 5th October 2022, they raise concerns over a circulating ad-hoc staff fake recruitment link while Nigerians were advised to disregard the link.
The WhatsApp message with the link claiming to be the recruitment website of INEC is INCORRECT.
These findings have shown that the original and authentic INEC recruitment portal is https://pres.inecnigeria.org/ and not https://portal.inecnigeria.recriutment.online/.
This report was written under ROUNDCHECK’s Volunteers Project Network Cohort 2.