Africa Check has fact-checked a viral Facebook post claiming that a Russian boy has hacked the website of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and released “authentic” results which show Peter Obi won the 2023 presidential election.
According to the fact-checking organisation, the post includes a photo of a young white man in a suit and read, in part: The claim that a “Russian boy” hacked INEC’s website and released a result showing Peter Obi won has been fact-checked and debunked.
Legit.ng gathers that the post includes a link to an article published on a suspicious-looking website, which includes the same photo as well as one of Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, and a graph showing the leaked “results”.
The hacker purportedly revealed that Obi’s Labour Party had 55 million votes, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had 25 million and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) 15 million.
Contrary to the hacker’s claim, Bola Tinubu of the APC was declared the winner of the election by INEC. Tinubu polled over eight million votes to defeat the PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar who had 6.9 million votes. Obi came third with 6.1 million votes, according to the official results released by INEC.
Was INEC’s website truly hacked by a “Russian boy”?
Reacting to the development, INEC’s chief press secretary, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said the post was “fake news” that originated from “mischief makers”.
“No time, either before, during or after the 2023 General Election, were the official Inec website and its Results Viewing Portal hacked by anyone. No such thing took place,” Oyekanmi said.
Africa Check also stated that a Google reverse image search revealed the boy in the photo is in-fact Nikolai Desyatnichenko, who was in November 2017 a 16-year-old high school student from Novy Urengoy in Siberia, northern Russia. He delivered a controversial anti-war speech to the German parliament at the time which was reported by various international media.
The fact-checking organisation concluded that there is no evidence that INEC’s website was hacked or that the boy pictured in the post has said anything relating to Nigeria’s election results.
Claim that Peter Obi won 19 states untrue
In a similar development, the trending claim that Obi won 19 states in the February 25 poll was rated as misleading by Dubawa, a Nigerian fact-checking organisation.
Some Facebook users claimed Obi won in 19 states of the federation, including the FCT. They also added that the PDP candidate only won eight states; the APC presidential candidate won in seven states, while the NNPP candidate won in two states.
Dubawa’s verification, however, found the claims to be misleading. The fact-checking organisation said results from polling units across Nigeria were yet to be entirely uploaded on the IReV portal as of the time it filed its report.