Police deny alleged attack on INEC office in Ebonyi

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The Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garba, has denied an alleged attack on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office located in Iboko community, Izzi Local Government Area, which was razed by fire.

The Commissioner, in a statement issued to newsmen in Abakaliki on Wednesday by the Command spokesman, Chris Anyanwu, maintained that there was no external attack on the INEC facility rather the fire began from inside the office.

Recall that the INEC office located in Izzi Local Government Area was razed by 60 percent.

Garba explained that the command carried out an on-the-spot assessment, and discovered that the fire erupted from inside the office building.

According to him, “There was no sign of external attack or breakage into the building before the fire outbreak. The fire destroyed inflammable items such as generating sets, plastic buckets/cans, ballot boxes, cubicles, etc, kept in the building capable of escalating the inferno.”

“There was no electric power supply at the time of the incident to infer/suspect same as a probable cause. There were no sensitive materials in the building as confirmed by the Electoral Officer in charge of the area.”

“No fire-fighting tools were installed in the office/premises. Some left-over PVCs locked in the steel cabinet were destroyed by the fire. Records of the left-over PVCs engulfed in the inferno are intact with the E.O. of the area.”

He further said “The value of items destroyed thereby is yet to be ascertained. The immediate cause of the incident is still unknown, and the same INEC office was engulfed in a similar circumstance some time ago”.

Garba, however, urged the government at all levels and INEC national chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, to install solar-powered CCTV cameras and fire-fighting tools in all INEC offices to forestall such incidents ahead of the elections.