GUNMEN have attacked the residence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Kogi state Hale Longpet.
According to a statement by INEC on its official X handle, the incident happened in the early hours of Friday, December 1.
The INEC said the armed men who arrived around 3. 30 am engaged the security personnel in a gun duel for over 30 minutes until reinforcement arrived.
“While no lives were lost, property was destroyed in the ensuing gun battle. A team of combined security personnel have been deployed to protect the residence. This incident occurred a day after a mob besieged our state office,” INEC stated.
The election umpire called for a thorough investigation and enhanced security protection for its personnel and assets in the state.
On Thursday, November 30, INEC condemned the siege on its state headquarters in Lokoja by a mob on Wednesday.
A statement by the resident electoral commissioner in the state, Longpet, said the mob barricaded all office entrances and prevented staff access to routine duties.
According to him, the siege also made it impossible for attorneys for the political parties who participated in the recent off-cycle gubernatorial election in the state to view any materials or records used in the poll.
According to the statement, the Nigerian Army’s assistance was necessary to defuse the tension at the state INEC’s headquarters.
The organisation added that security officials had assured that everything would continue without threat to lives and property.
The commission assured all parties and litigants unhindered access to all materials required to pursue their petitions.
Attempts to reach Kogi State Police spokesperson William Aya on Friday were unsuccessful as he did not pick up calls or respond to messages sent to his phone by The ICIR.
The INEC conducted an off-cycle election in Kogi on Saturday, November 11.
Opposition parties, civil society organisations, and Nigerians who are displeased with the conduct of the poll have continued to condemn the exercise and malpractices that allegedly characterised it.
The state is one of the eight states in Nigeria with off-season governorship polls. Others are Anambra, Imo, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Ondo, Edo and Osun
The INEC announced Usman Ododo as the election winner on Sunday, November 12.
The poll was held in 3,508 polling units spread across the 21 local government areas of the state.
In this report, the ICIR highlighted the major talking points from the election.