The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC office in Igboeze North Local Government Area office in Enugu State was set ablaze and over 700 ballot boxes have been destroyed by unknown arsonists on Sunday.
The report of the incident was made by the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Enugu State, Mr. Emeka Ononamadu who informed that the attack happened at 11.48p.m on Sunday 3rd July 2022.
According to Festus Okoye Esq., the National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education Committee, the arsonists overpowered the security guards, forced their way into the premises and set the building ablaze.
He noted that there were no casualties but said that 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.
Adding that 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.
Okoye said that the incident has been reported to the Nigeria Police for investigation and further action.
This attack is coming in the middle of the voter registration exercise and other preparations for 2023 General Election.
Worried by the development, Mr. Okoye said that on 23rd May 2021, the Commission’s office in the neighbouring Igboeze South Local Government Area was attacked in a similar manner by unknown gunmen.
Noting that this incident followed earlier attacks on Udenu Local Government Area office on 13th May 2021 and the State Headquarters in Enugu on 16th May 2021.
He said that the Commission has since substantially recovered from those attacks and resumed normal activities there, including the CVR and collection of PVCs.
He assumed that the Commission will continue to work with the security agencies and the emergency services to protect our facilities.