An office belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State has been set ablaze by hoodlums.
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This was contained in a statement issued on Monday by INEC’s National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
He stated that the attack on the office happened at 11:48pm on Sunday July 3, 2022.
Okoye made known that the armed thugs overpowered security guards in charge of the commission’s office and forced their way into the premises and burned down the building.
He noted that no casualties were reported in the attack, but, revealing that 748 ballot boxes and 240 voting cubicles as well as office furniture and equipment were destroyed by the arsonists.
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.”
INEC stated that it had yet to ascertain the status of voter registration machines as well as the Permanent Voter Cards locked up in the fireproof cabinet cabinet in the burnt office.
“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.”
The commission disclosed that it had reported the attack to the Nigeria Police Force, and lamented the timing of the attack which was coming “in the middle of the voter registration exercise.”
The statement further stated that similar attacks had been carried out on its offices in the Igboeze South and Udeni Local Government Areas as well as the Enugu State Headquarters of the commission all in May 2021.