Enugu INEC Office Burnt
A statement on Monday by Festus Okoye, its national commissioner, information and voter education, said the arsonists overpowered security guards in charge of the INEC office, forced their way into the premises and burned down the building at 11:48pm on Sunday.
Okoye who described the incident as worrisome said no casualties were reported, but 748 ballot boxes, 240 voting cubicles, and equipment were destroyed.
As of the time of the press release, 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 statement reads, “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.
“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 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.
“It will be recalled that on 23rd May 2021, our office in the neighbouring Igboeze South Local Government Area was attacked in a similar manner by unknown gunmen.
“This followed earlier attacks on Udenu Local Government Area office on 13th May 2021 and the State Headquarters in Enugu on 16th May 2021.
“The Commission has since substantially recovered from these attacks and resumed normal activities there, including the CVR and collection of PVCs.
“The Commission will continue to work with the security agencies and the emergency services to protect our facilities.”
KanyiDaily recalls 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.