Fire Guts INEC Office In Enugu

INEC offices have come under increased attacks in recent times. Photo: Twitter/INEC

 

Fire has gutted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Igboeze South Local Government Area of Enugu State. 

The fire incident which happened on Sunday evening razed a room in the office but was put out by fire service operatives.

In a series of tweets on its official handle on Monday evening, the electoral body shared photos of the fire incident.

INEC says attacks on its offices may mar preparations for the 2023 polls. Photo: Twitter/INEC

 

“The store was completely burnt down before the Neighbourhood Watch and the Enugu State Fire Service responded and prevented the inferno from razing other parts of the building,” INEC explained.

READ ALSO: Attack On Our Offices, A Huge Setback On Preparations For 2023 Elections – INEC

The Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Aliyu also confirmed the inferno and has ordered a thorough investigation into the matter with a view to unravelling the cause and those behind the incident.

Sunday’s fire incident is the latest in the recent waves of assaults and arson on INEC offices across the country, particularly in the South-East region.

Gunmen had on the same day, attacked INEC’s headquarters in Anambra State and equally attempted to attack the Police ‘B’ Divisional Headquarters close to the INEC office but were repelled by the operatives on duty.

A section of the INEC office gutted by the inferno. Photo: Twitter/INEC

 

The assailants had embarked on a mission to attack the police station to cause severe destruction, but it became an unsuccessful operation as the attempt was repelled by security operatives who engaged them in a fierce firefight, killing two of them in the process.

An ‘Unacceptable’ Act

The electoral umpire had lamented the increased spate of arson and attacks on its offices, raising fears that the development may adversely affect its preparations for the 2023 general election.

Photo: Twitter/INEC

 

“We are worried that our preparations are being distracted and distorted. We are also worried because some of our officers are now living in fear in relation to what is going on,” INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said.

“There is no doubt whatsoever that what is going on is unacceptable, and it is going to divert the attention of the commission from early preparations for the 2023 elections and for the off-season elections that we’re organising.”

Gunmen Burn INEC Office In Anambra

A screengrab taken on May 23, 2021, shows a raging fire at INEC headquarters in Awka, Anambra State.

 

The headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Anambra State has been set ablaze by gunmen.

They also attempted to attack the Police ‘B’ Divisional Headquarters close to the INEC office but were repelled by the operatives on duty.

The office of the electoral umpire and the police station are both located in Awka, the state capital, in south-east Nigeria.

The incident, which occurred on Sunday, is the latest in the series of attacks on police facilities and INEC offices by hoodlums in recent times in the region.

The assailants had embarked on a mission to attack the police station to cause severe destruction, but it became an unsuccessful operation as the attempt was repelled by security operatives who engaged them in a fierce firefight, killing two of them in the process.

Although police authorities in the state confirmed the killing of two of the assailants during the gun battle, there was no information on whether or not any security operative was killed.

Eyewitnesses also said three Hilux vans fully packed with armed men stormed the police station and opened fire for more than one hour.

They were reported to have later proceeded to the Ekwueme Square axis and fired gunshots for another 10 minutes before storming the INEC headquarters and set it on fire.

Channels Television obtained a video showing the INEC office going up in flames.

Following the incidents, authorities in the state have appealed to residents to avoid some routes.

They included the Roban Road, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Road, Arroma Road, and Ifite Road – all in the state capital.

Attack On Our Offices, A Huge Setback On Preparations For 2023 Elections – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the attacks on its offices may affect early preparations for the 2023 general elections if allowed to continue.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, stated this on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“For us, we don’t know the motives and it is a huge setback on our preparation for some of the off-season elections we have and the 2023 elections,” he said of the invasion of INEC offices by hoodlums.

Okoye added, “We are worried that our preparations are being distracted and distorted. We are also worried because some of our officers are now living in fear in relation to what is going on

“There is no doubt whatsoever that what is going on is unacceptable, and it is going to divert the attention of the commission from early preparations for the 2023 elections and for the off-season elections that we’re organising.”

Over the past weeks, INEC suffered losses as a result of the series of attacks on some of its offices by hoodlums in parts of the country, especially in the South.

During the invasion, the electoral umpire’s offices were set on fire with vehicles destroyed, while sensitive and non-sensitive materials were also destroyed in some cases.

A file photo of INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.

 

Condemning the attacks, Okoye decried that the ugly trend was already having a negative effect on the commission’s activities.

He explained that among the sensitive and non-sensitive materials lost to the attacks were smart card readers and generators.

The INEC official believes while the commission may decide to rent apartments to replace its burnt local government offices, the disposition of the landlords of such properties may affect the outcome of the elections conducted there.

“You know that we just finished verification relating to the expansion of voters’ access to the polling units; it was at the various local government offices that these were coordinated – they coordinated the geo-referencing of the old and new polling units.

“If you attack our local government offices, you are attacking our capacity and capability of conducting elections,” he said.

Okoye added, “So when you displace the commission, the implication is that the commission may have to go and look for a rented house and when the commission goes to look for a rented office.

“You don’t know the political disposition and inclination of the landlords of that office; you may just come out on election day and find out that your offices are locked and there is absolutely nothing you will do about it.”

Fire Guts INEC Data Processing Unit In Kano

The Kano State Office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was on Tuesday gutted by fire.

The data processing unit was burnt down to ashes while the main building is still intact as men of the Fire Service tried to put the fire out.

Men of the Fire Service put out the fire at the INEC office in Kano

Although the cause of the fire has not been ascertained.

A staff of the commission assured that all hope is not lost as the burnt data can be retrieved from the national headquarters in Abuja.

An investigation is still ongoing to know the cause of fire and measures taken to forestall a repeat of such incident.

A photo of a burnt section

Imo Police Foil Attempted Invasion Of INEC Office By Hoodlums

Imo Police Foil Attempted Invasion Of INEC Office By HoodlumsThe Imo State Police Command has foiled an attempted invasion of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Owerri by unidentified hoodlums numbering over 30.

When Channels Television crew arrived the office, the situation had been put under control by security operative but our correspondent got the Imo State INEC Administrative Secretary, Mr Adelani Asade, to narrate how the incident happened.

He said that the unidentified hoodlums came in two chartered buses to the premises around 9AM and tried to force their way into the premises by banging the gate.

On sighting them, they called the attention of the Imo State Police Command and other security operatives and with the presence of the security operatives, the hoodlums took to their heels as they were not able to gain access to the offices.

The aim of the hoodlums in the office is yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report,.

“It was around 9AM this morning when two buses filled with unidentified hoodlums rushed towards our gate and tried to force their way in. Immediately we saw this, I called the Commissioner of Police who immediately detailed his men to the scene.

“On seeing the Police the boys took to their heels, as at this moment, we don’t know what their aim was, and we can’t identify them,” Mr Asade said.

When contacted, the Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, who declined speaking on camera said that investigations were ongoing to ascertain the cause of the attempted invasion.

However, some sources told Channels Television that the invasion might not be unconnected to the ongoing tribunal case on the Imo North senatorial election.

The sources said that at the last sitting of the tribunal, the court ordered INEC to send the certified true copies of some documents used during the election to court for scrutiny.

Meanwhile, security operatives have taken over the premises to forestall any breakdown of law and order.

Police Commissioner Promises Improved Security In Rivers State

Police, Rivers State, SecurityThe new Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Mr Francis Odesanya, says that the Police will ensure improved security of the state.

The Police Commissioner said this on Monday when he visited the head office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

He told the Resident Electoral Commissioner in River State, Aniedi Ikoiwak, that Police officials would visit all INEC offices in the 23 local government areas of the state to ascertain the level of security.

Mr Ikoiwak said that although there was no fixed date yet for the legislative rerun polls, there must be an acceptable sense of security for electoral officers and residents in the state.

Residents and concerned bodies have also expressed worry at the security situation in River State, as they called on the Police and other security agencies to step up their activities, in order to provide safety for lives and property.

The Police Commissioner’s visit comes several days after the office of the electoral body was razed by yet to be identified persons in Bori, a town in Khana Local Government Area.

Although no life was lost in the incident, properties were destroyed and many believe that it contributed to the indefinite postponement of the legislative rerun election.

Imo Election Re-run: INEC Postpones Polls Till Further Notice

Anambra-Imo-INECThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has postponed the national and state assembly re-run elections slated for Saturday February 20, till further notice.

Briefing reporters on Friday at the INEC office in Owerri, the capital of Imo State, the Administrative Secretary of the electoral body in the state, Evurulobi Chinedu, said the decision to postpone the election was taken after a careful assessment of the security situation on ground.

Earlier on Friday, a massive protest erupted at the headquarters of the commission, as some irate youths called for the immediate cancellation and postponement of the rerun election.

The youths in their hundreds barricaded the main entrance of the office in the state, alleging that some INEC staff were bias.

The commission, however, debunked the allegations levelled against it, saying it remains committed to giving all political parties a level playing ground in the elections.

Policemen Attack Channels TV, Guardian Newspaper Crew

policemenPolicemen have attacked a joint crew of the media on their way to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters along Muritala Mohammed Highway, in Calabar.

The joint crew, which comprises a team of Channels Television and Guardian Newspaper was attacked around the Calabar roundabout, by RCC Junction on Sunday evening.

They were said to be on their way to the INEC headquarters in the Cross River State capital, to get an updated information on collation of the election results.

It was also recorded that the men dispensed tear gas into the eyes of a Channels Television stringer on election, Saviour Asuquo, also destroying the camera, as well as other valuable items.

A Guardian reporter, Miss Tina Todo, and the taxi driver were also reportedly manhandled by one of the officers.

Report says that the journalists sought permission from the Policemen on duty before filming the town.