Vacancy notices used to trick unsuspecting jobseekers. Source: Abdulrasheed Hammad 

Abdulrasheed, Hammad writes;

Due to the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, people are using fake job vacancies to lure jobseekers into dubious organizations. PEN Press reporter, Abdulrasheed Hammad, uncovered the motives of these miscreants who post fake vacancy bills on street walls.


To get first-hand information about the intent of fake recruiters who paste job vacancies on street walls, this reporter took pictures of several job vacancies in Kwara and Oyo states to call the numbers included one after the other.


This reporter went undercover, pretending to  be a jobseeker who has been jobless for four years. On different occasions, they told him to send his name, address and the position he was applying for. A few minutes after doing this, he would receive a congratulatory message, informing him that he has been shortlisted for a job interview at their company.


Some of the addresses this reporter received include, ‘Secure Your Future Campaign; at the top floor, Madeleke Plaza, Lajonrin Street, Off Murtala Road’, ‘Zenith hall, beside 2nd ECWA church, amilegbe, Maraba’ and ‘Neolife International, Chayoobi Event Centre, Agba-Dam Road, behind Ola Olu hospital’, all of which are in Ilorin, Kwara state. Neolife International is also known as GNLD, and it has another branch at Kulende, also in Ilorin, Kwara State.


When the PEN Press correspondent got to the company for an interview, he found these people doing seminars to lure people into their firm. They said the job seekers could be successful in life and travel abroad if they purchased registration forms worth ‘just ₦18,000’.


The addresses and congratulatory messages sent to this reporter

This reporter questioned one of them, insisting he was there for a POS attendant vacancy they claimed was available at their company. The man started shivering and as he could not reply to the query. However, he urged the reporter to wait until the end of the seminar.


Among those that were also tricked into attending the seminar is Anna, who was invited to model for a photoshoot. However, she was horrified when they introduced them to a networking business, in which she would be selling products on the street.


“For the past one hour, I have been sitting here and I didn’t understand what they were talking about. I am even scared. I was like maybe they are kidnappers or so. I don’t know. The thing is somehow ambiguous,” she lamented.


Abeeb, on the other hand, saw a vacancy and decided to call the number, but everything was strange to him when he was told to pay ₦18,500 to join the firm.


Wonders As Different People Directed this Reporter to Same Location


This reporter introduced himself as Abdulrasak Arigbabuwo to the first recruiter, Jamiu Neolife, who wanted to recruit him as a POS attendant as advertised in the vacancy. He asked this reporter to send his details. Some minutes later, he invited him for an interview at Offa Garage, Olaolu hospital, Chayoobi event center, Agbadam road.


Akeem Pablo, GNLD Ruqoyat and Mr Femi GNLD (as shown in Truecaller) promised this reporter that he would get a job with their respective firms but they all sent the same address.


Usher Ahmed (as shown in Truecaller) used another technique by pasting that there is a vacancy at NLC. He claimed they had branches in Maraba and Unity in Ilorin, noting that the Secretary, Shopkeeper, and Financial Secretary positions were vacant.


On getting to the address at amilegbe, beside ECWA Church, Ilorin, sent to this reporter for an interview, they told him to join the new intakes, whom they were brainwashing to join the organisation. He challenged them that he was there for an interview and not for orientation. Then, one Mr Shamsudeen, a young man, approached him to educate him on their agenda.


Neolife location at Chayoobi Event Centre Agba-Dam Road Ilorin behind Ola Olu hospital. Source: Abdulrasheed Hammad 


Shamsudeen told this reporter that a salary earner can never be successful and that he could only succeed by joining the organisation.


However, when he asked why he was deceived with a fake job vacancy, Shamsudeen said; “If you would like to introduce people to the successful path, you are going to give whatever it takes to refer them, even if it is an illegal way. We are going to give you what will make you successful.”


This reporter used another number to contact the people he spoke with earlier and challenged them that they were not giving out jobs as claimed, but deluding people to join the organization.


One complained of poor network and another complained of being busy before hanging up to evade questions on why they were deceiving people into their dubious organization. Some discredited sources from which the reporter possibly heard they are introducing people to networking instead of giving them the job they publicized.


Past Members, Victims, Share Horrible Experiences


Alfa Lanre, a middle-aged man and a popular tailor at Post-Office area in Ilorin who once had many apprentices and customers, was earning his living from sewing before he met a lady who introduced him to Golden NeoLife Diamite (GNLD). He joined eagerly when she told him he would become rich in a few months.


“If I had known I would lose my customers, apprentices and money, I would not have joined this firm,” he regretted.


He invested his savings and energy, dumping his sewing vocation to focus on becoming rich in the next few months. After spending two years and investing his money and energy in this organization, he did not get any returns.


“If you have a business you are doing, you should focus on it. Before you capture the future you need, you can spend more than 20 years in the organisation. The story they are telling you that you would travel abroad and be successful in life is all lies.”


He disclosed that the fake job vacancies pasted on the street are one of the strategies they used in luring people to the organization, noting that they often paste it early in the morning or at midnight.


“Your shoe is still good, it has not torn from trekking. Those that I met there are still poor five years after I left them. They would even be cursing us for discouraging people from joining. We used to force drugs on people before they could buy them.


“Don’t even think of joining them. They will ruin you. I lost my money, customers, apprentices and ruined my career as a tailor,” he whined.


Five years after leaving the organization, Alfa Lanre he has not recuperated from the losses he suffered.


Muhammad Busairi, Alfa Lanre’s former apprentice recounted the hardships he went through when he joined the cynical firm. He travelled with his boss, Alfa Lanre, to attend a seminar in Ibadan and had to spend all his money. After exhausting the money, they started suffering in Ibadan.


The organization assured him he would travel abroad, but after he joined them, he did not see anyone travelling abroad through the organisation.


Busairi disclosed that he once posted fictitious vacancy bills on street walls in Ilorin on behalf of Alfa Lanre. Eventually, he ran for his life when he realized the distress was too heavy.


“We slept at one upstairs in Ibadan. If you fall, the next thing is to die. We used newspapers as a mat. We can trek for six hours or more. We will be canvassing for people to attend our seminar. I trekked to the extent that I removed my shoes. Even though I have not registered then,” he disclosed.


Philip Anjorin had an encounter with the fake job recruiters in 2017 when he gained admission into Adekunle Ajasin University (AAUA) and intended to work to get money before resumption.

Neolife location at Zenith hall beside 2nd ECWA church Amilegbe Maraba Ilorin. Source: Abdulrasheed Hammad 

Anjorin saw a job vacancy announcing the recruitment of hotel attendants and receptionists, but when he got there, he was introduced to a dubious business called GNLD and KEDI. They told him how wonderful and fortunate he was to attend the seminar, but he saw no signs of being successful in their appearance.


“We did not see signs of wealth on them. They said if I go out, I am not going to be successful. If I lose this opportunity, there is no opportunity for success for me. I made up my mind that I wouldn’t join them,” he disclosed.


Raji Olatunji and his friend, who are former students at the University of Ibadan, once walked into the trap of a dubious organization called GNLD.


Olatunji and his friend, who were jobless during the COVID-19 pandemic, were delighted when they saw a vacancy for a supermarket that would pay them ₦40,000 monthly. They had faced rejection at a hotel, and they thought the salary for the new job was a lucrative compensation.


They contacted a phone number on the job vacancy and the receiver was a fellow UI student. Their discovery made them hopeful of getting the work. However, when they reached Sango in Ibadan for the interview, they discovered the lady was only looking for people to refer to the organisation although she had not paid for the registration form at the time.


The people brainwashed them that there is nothing in western education and showed them the laminated receipt of ₦90,000 received by a Primary school certificate holder in the organization.


“They told me to sell my iPhone to buy the form. When we complained about the long trekking under the sun, we were taught how to beg people to carry us and it’s called ‘Abnormal’, even though they have promised us a fortunate life,” he disclosed.


He further noted that he could tell those people were suffering by merely looking at them, adding that they were asked to pay ₦18,000 for the form. They later ran away when they couldn’t endure the stress any more.  


Usman Ibrahim spoke of his encounter with a lady neatly dressed like a CEO of a company. She had come to his area, pasting those fake job vacancies around 4:30am. He chased the lady and forced her to clean it up before they allowed her to leave.

One of the trainers that deceived this reporter with fake job vacancy. Source: Abdulrasheed Hammad 


“Those people are GNLD. The more you bring people into the organisation, the more interest they will be getting. ‘Referral network’. If you call the number, they will tell you to go and meet them at a place. Before you know it, you would be selling drugs on the street,” he explained.


Ibrahim Abdulsamad once contacted the number on a job vacancy in 2020. When he texted the number on his father’s behalf, he received a congratulatory message stating he was among the lucky applicants for the job.


They informed his father to come for an interview as early as 5:00am at Ola Olu, Offa Garage in Ilorin, Kwara State.  When Ibrahim, his dad, and his father’s friend got there, they called their contact severally, but they refused to pick up.


“He later called back to inquire whether it was my father that was picked at the location of another person. Since then, we always tear the vacancies whenever we see them. We need to be vigilant,” he cautioned.


Tijani Abdulsamad met them in Ilorin where he was invited to a job that would fetch him ₦50,000 per month. When he got to the place, he was told he would register with ₦40,000 and after that, he would start earning huge amounts of money.


“I told them I am not interested. They are scams. I have somebody who seems to be their mentor and claimed a good life, but if you see how the guy is living, it is terrible for him. I declined because I don’t have the money and I cannot do such a thing,” he asserted.


Jummah, a young lady who was looking for a job in Lagos spotted a job vacancy on the street and decided to call the number. After the call, a message was sent to her to come for an interview at Rybid Consult Nig; a business consulting and development firm for an ongoing business development position.


“Date/time: Thursday, 3rd June 2021 by 8:00am Venue: Suite B, beside Great Talent School, Oba Ogunji Road, Ogba, Lagos,” the message read.


When she got to the venue, she realised the compound was unkempt and didn’t look like a formal office setting. Different people asked for the invitation letter sent to her and she showed it to them. She was shocked when all of them smiled at her, welcoming and giving her special treatment despite being a job-seeker.


“The place was so quiet. Where are the 16 people that entered before me? Why wasn’t I hearing a sound? Why is the place so quiet and slightly dark? Where are the laptops or computers?


“These thoughts kept coming when the last person asked me to come. I was about to take a step but I couldn’t. I felt so heavy and my head grew bigger. I started shaking and my hands became very cold and then I turned back and ran outside from the reception.”


Being a job seeker, she was supposed to run after them, but the job recruiters were the ones running after her to come and take their job. They said nothing would happen to her, but she refused to look back until she exited the gate. She explained that she met two ladies and dissuaded them, asking them to run for their lives.


“I am very sure they bought the building, completed it, and are using it for their dubious works. Be careful!” she warned.


Unemployment in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, surged to the second position in the world according to Bloomberg indices. The joblessness rate in Nigeria rose to 33.3% in the three months through December, according to a report the National Bureau of Statistics published on its website recently. That’s up from 27.1% in the second quarter of 2020, the last period for which the agency released labour-force statistics.


One in three Nigerians, able and willing to work, had no jobs in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose to 33.3 percent, translating to some 23.2 million people, the highest in at least 13 years and the second-highest rate in the world at the moment.


The figure jumped from the 27.1 percent recorded in the second quarter amidst Nigeria’s lingering economic crisis, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Touching Tales of Job Seekers Lured to Kidnappers’ Den via Fake Job Vacancy


One morning, Abiodun Badmus got a call from a man who claimed to have a job for him in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The news gladdened him and he looked forward to adding to his growing list of clientele.


Unknown to him, the scamp, who simply introduced himself as Ben, was only luring him into kidnappers’ den. Badmus eventually regained his freedom, but this was only after his kidnappers received a ransom for his release.


Salam AbdulKareem, an Abuja-based accountant, recounted that he once attended an interview’ where they were made to pay ₦20,000 after what he described as a “long, winding interview process.” He never got any job thereafter.


Adebayo Alabi was shocked when he heard that kidnappers used the popular HALLIBURTON company name to trap unsuspecting jobseekers.


A banker had shared with him a story of his sister-in-law who went for an interview at an HALLUBURTTON establishment, unaware that it was not the famous HALLIBURTON.


“He told me the interview was conducted in Ikeja, Lagos and some of them, including his sister-in-law, were ‘shortlisted’ for the said job.

 

“After the interview, they offered to drop the applicants at their respective destinations because of transport fare. Some were taken to Port Harcourt, some to Benin, some to Saki in Oyo State. The sister-in-law was among those taken to Saki. That was how they ended up in the hands of kidnappers.”

 

He, however, confirmed that those who put the advert are kidnappers and they lured the victims with job vacancy in a reputable company, adding that they seized their certificates and dumped them in the bush.

 

“They demanded ₦5 million for each of them to be released. They said they had been in the business for long and not ready to release anyone without paying the ransom,” he disclosed.

 

Shaba also narrated how the whereabouts of a man remains unknown until date. The missing man had called a number on a job vacancy in Lagos. The man went for an interview and never returned.


Students Dropping Out Of School After Joining Dubious Organisation 


When this reporter visited the location of an ambiguous organisation, Secure Your Future Campaign, on the top floor of Madeleke Plaza, Lajonrin Street, off Murtala Road, Ilorin, Kwara State to attend their seminar, he met Imam Folohunsho, a 200-Level student of Islamic Studies Education at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto there.


When this reporter inquired from him why he had not been seeing him on campus, he disclosed that he dropped out before the reopening of schools after the COVID-19 break.

A girl with the organisation that deceived this reporter with fake job vacancy. Source: Abdulrasheed Hammad 


He admitted that he has not entered any school due to financial constraints. Even though they promised them they would be successful after joining the organisation.


Olatunji disclosed that the lady who pasted the job vacancy in Ibadan that pushed them to the dubious organisation also dropped out from the University of Ibadan, where they studied.


What the law says


The Nigerian Criminal Code, Section 419 states: “Any person who by any false pretence, and with intent to defraud, obtains from any other person anything capable of being stolen, or induces any other person to deliver to any person anything capable of being stolen, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.”


Section 273 of the Nigerian Penal Code Act provides thus:


“Whoever kidnaps or abducts a person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.”  


 Police Reacts


The Police Public Relations Officer, Kwara State command, Mr Ajayi Okasanmi, said the kind of information given by this reporter is coming to the command for the first time and vowed that the command would investigate it, should any victim of the crime report the cases.


“Moreover, the owners of the houses used to post the invitation should draw the attention of the police to such a situation so that action should be taken,” he said.


He, however, noted that the command will do something about it as soon as practicable.

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