January 17, 2023
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says gunmen have attacked its office in Enugu South local council 39 days before the February and March elections.
INEC national commissioner and chairman of the information and voter education committee, Festus Okoye, who disclosed this in a statement on Monday, said the office was attacked on Sunday.
INEC reported five attacks on its Enugu offices between 2019 and 2022, including arson and vandalism by gunmen on its Udenu LGA office on May 13, 2021, state headquarters office on May 21, 2021, and Ugbeeeze South LGA office on May 23, 2021.
The statement said the INEC resident electoral commissioner for Enugu, Chukwuemeka Chukwu, reported that gunmen attacked the office at around 9:12 p.m. on Sunday.
“The security gatehouse was razed. Fortunately, the attackers could not gain access to the main building as a result of the rapid response from the police and army personnel from 82 Division. The state commissioner of police and the REC were personally at the scene immediately they received information about the attack,” the INEC statement added.
It revealed that a police officer protecting the INEC facility was shot dead and his colleague wounded.
He said that while the destroyed gatehouse would be rebuilt, INEC was proceeding with its preparations for the 2023 general elections in Enugu State and the entire country as scheduled.
INEC said the security agencies were investigating the attack.
The electoral commission added that a meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Enugu, co-chaired by the REC and the police commissioner, had been convened to discuss the latest attacks.
He explained that the meeting was also to design additional strategies for fortifying the offices and protecting the personnel and materials. (NAN)