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Over 700 ballot boxes destroyed as hoodlums set INeC office ablaze in Enugu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State has been burnt down by suspected hoodlums.

The office, situated at the council’s headquarters in Ogurute was set on fire on Sunday night, July 3.

It was gathered that the state fire service in the community could not move in to save the situation for fear of further attacks until security was provided.

Sources in the area told The Nation that by the time security was provided, the fire had completely razed down the building.

INEC confirmed the incident on Monday, in a statement signed by its national commissioner, information and voter education, Festus Okoye.

According to the statement, the resident electoral commissioner for Enugu state, Emeka Ononamadu, reported that the attack happened at 11.48pm on Sunday.

Ononamadu said the arsonists overpowered the security guards, forced their way into the premises and set the building ablaze.

“Although no casualties were reported. We will use every legitimate means to ensure his quick and safe release.

“May Jesus crucified on the Cross, listen to our prayers and hasten the unconditional release of His Priest and all other kidnapped persons.

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 statement reads.

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.”