INEC Office set ablaze by arsonists in Enugu State

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An office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Enugu State, has been set ablaze by yet to be identified arsonists.

This development was confirmed in a brief statement on Monday by INEC National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye Esq.

Mr Okoye disclosed that the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Enugu State, Mr. Emeka Ononamadu, reported that INEC Igboeze North Local Government Area office had been burnt.

According to the REC, the attack happened at about 11.48pm on Sunday the 3rd of July, 2022.

The arsonists are said to have overpowered the security guards, forced their way into the premises and set the INEC building ablaze.

Although no casualties were reported, 748 ballot boxes, 240 voting cubicles, office furniture and equipment were destroyed in spite of the best effort of the Enugu State Fire Service deployed from Nsukka.

According to Mr Okoye’s communique, the Commission is working to ascertain the status of voter registration machines for the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise as well as uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) locked up in the fireproof cabinet.

He added that the incident has been reported to the Nigeria Police for investigation and further action.

“The attack, coming in the middle of the voter registration exercise and other preparations for 2023 General Election, is worrisome,” the INEC spokesman stressed.

Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Mr Lawal Abubakar, has ordered a thorough investigation to unravel cause of fire outbreak in INEC office in Igboeze North Local Government Area.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Daniel Ndukwe, in Enugu on Monday.

Ndukwe said that the fire might have started from the back of the building.

He noted that the fire was put out by police operatives that mobilised to the scene on receipt of the information, with assistance from personnel of Enugu State Fire Service, thereby averting further damages within the vicinity.

“Consequently, the CP has assured that the command will do all it can to unravel the cause of the incident and take necessary action.

“The commissioner also enjoined residents of the area to support the police with credible information and intelligence in the ongoing investigation.”

The PPRO said that the area had been cordoned for preservation and further investigation.

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