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3 Killed As Arsonists Attack INEC Headquarters In Imo

Imo INEC Office attack


3 Killed As Arsonists Attack INEC Headquarters In Imo

Others escaped with bullet wound injuries. Unfortunately, one of our men paid the supreme price.

Operatives of Imo state police command have killed three hoodlums suspected to be arsonist in a gun duel, following an attack on the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Owerri, Imo State.

The Imo State Police Command, while confirming the attack, disclosed that a policeman lost his life while another sustained injury in the gun duel that lasted for an hour.

Michael Abattam, the command spokesperson, while briefing journalists at the police headquarters, where the lifeless bodies of the hoodlums were paraded, said five rifles, two vehicles, charms, locally made bombs, phones, and money were recovered from the slain gunmen.

He said: “They attacked the INEC headquarters in Owerri around 3 a.m. They threw bombs on the roof of the INEC building, but unfortunately for them, they were resisted by our men who were guarding the place. They came in four vehicles and were fully armed.

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“While they engaged our men on the ground, we reinforced. Noticing that we were stronger, they ran away, abandoning one of their vehicles. We gave them a hot chase towards Onitsha Road. Fortunately, we neutralized three of them.

“Others escaped with bullet wound injuries. Unfortunately, one of our men paid the supreme price. Another one was injured. We recovered two vehicles. We also recovered five rifles, charms, locally made explosives, phones, money, and other exhibits.”

Also confirming the incident, the Independent National Electoral Commission spokesperson, Festus Okoye, said the INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Imo State, Slyvia Uchenna-Agu, reported the attack on the commission’s office in Owerri by unknown gunmen.

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He said the incident occurred at about 3 a.m. Monday morning.

Mr Okoye disclosed that the attack affected part of the building occupied by the Election and Party Monitoring Department, EPM, and added that one official vehicle (a Toyota Hilux pickup van) was burnt.

He also confirmed that there were no casualties among the staff of the commissions and that no electoral material was destroyed during the attack.

He, however, said the response by the security operatives and emergency services provided by the fire service curtailed further damage to the facilities and other assets of the commission.

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“This is the third attack on the commission’s facilities in less than two weeks following the earlier attacks on our Orlu, LGA office on December 1st and our Oru west office on December 4, 2022.

“Our Imo State Headquarters is located in the center of Owerri, the state capital, between the 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’s cards (PVCs) commenced nationwide ahead of the 2023 general election,” he added.

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