No critical election material destroyed in attack on Imo headquarters – INEC

THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said no critical election material was damaged in the attack on its Imo state office on Monday, December 12.

Hoodlums attacked INEC’s headquarters in Owerri, Imo State capital, in the early hours of the day.

In a statement signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, the Commission said the attack was targeted at its assets ahead of the 2023 general elections.


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The statement also noted that the incident happened on the day of the commencement of collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) by registered voters.

INEC’s facilities in Imo State have been attacked three times in less than two weeks, following earlier attacks in Orlu Local Government Area on December 1, and Oru West LGA, on December 4.

The statement read, “The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Imo State, Professor Sylvia Agu, has reported that our State Headquarters office in Owerri was attacked by unknown gunmen.

“The incident occurred at about 3.00 a.m. today, Monday, December 12, 2022.

“The attack affected part of the building occupied by the Election and Party Monitoring Department, and one official utility vehicle (a Toyota Hilux pickup van) was burnt.”

INEC said the response of the security and emergency service provider (the Fire Service) curtailed further damage to the building and other assets of the Commission.

It added that no critical election material was destroyed, and there were also no casualties involving the staff of the Commission.

“This is the third attack on the Commission’s facilities in Imo State in less than two weeks.

“Our Imo State Headquarters is located in the centre of Owerri, the state capital, between a court and the state secretariat.

“This is, therefore yet another systematic attack targeted at the Commission’s assets across the country, more so on the day that the collection of Permanent Voter Cards commenced nationwide ahead of the 2023 general election,” INEC added.

THE ICIR reported that unidentified gunmen, on Monday, December 12, razed the INEC office in Owerri, Imo State capital.
Three of the gunmen and a policeman died in the attack.






     

     

    Reacting to the development, the Imo State Police Command, Mike Abattam, said the gunmen were suspected IPOB members.

    “They are suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra. It is the outcome of our investigation that will determine those that will be held complicit,” he said.

    “We gave them a hot chase. The Command’s tactical teams were able to follow them and in the process, we were able to neutralize three of them.”

    He added that two of the gunmen were captured alive with bullet injuries, noting that the Command was combing the area to apprehend other suspects.

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