The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu has been set on fire by unknown arsonists.
A statement made available to the media and signed by INEC’s National Commissioner, Information
and Voter Education Committee, Festis Okoye stated that:
The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Enugu State, Mr. Emeka Ononamadu, 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, 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. 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.
Okoye assured that the Commission will continue to work with the security agencies and the emergency services to protect INEC’s facilities.