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INEC Confirms Attack on Enugu Office
Gideon Arinze in Enugu
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed an attack on its office in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Similar attacks had been carried out in the commission’s office in Igboeze South and Udeni Local government areas as well as its headquarters in Enugu.
In a statement released by the commission yesterday, INEC’s National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye said the attack on the office happened at 11:48pm on Sunday, July 3.
Okoye said the arsonists overpowered the security guards who were in charge of the commission’s office and forced their way into the premises and burned down the building.
Although no casualties were reported in the attack, Okoye said 748 ballot boxes and 240 voting cubicles, furniture and equipment were destroyed by the gunmen who were yet to be identified.
The statement partly read: “The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Enugu State, M. Emeka Onanamadu, reported that our Igboeze North Local Government Area office was set ablaze by unknown arsonists. The attack happened at 11:48pm on Sunday 3rd July 2022.
“The arsonists overpowered the security guards, forced their way into the premises and set the building ablaze. Although no casualties were reported, 48 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.”
Okoye further stated that the commission was yet to ascertain the status of voter registration machines as well as the Permanent Voter Cards that were locked up in the fireproof cabinet in the burnt office.
He, however, explained that the commission was 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 maintained that although the commission had since reported the attack to the Nigeria Police Force, it was worried by the timing of the attack which comes in the middle of the voter registration exercise.