Home / Lead Story / Again, gunmen attack INEC office in Enugu, kill police officer; Massive hunt for perpetrators begin
The burnt INEC facility

Again, gunmen attack INEC office in Enugu, kill police officer; Massive hunt for perpetrators begin

The burnt INEC facility

By Emmanuel Oloniruha/Stanley Nwanosike

Abuja, Enugu Jan. 16, 2023

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says its office in Enugu South Local Government Area (LGA) of Enugu State has been attacked by gunmen, with just 39 days to the 2023 general elections.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Monday, said that the office was attacked on Sunday.

INEC had earlier reported five arsons on its offices in Enugu between 2019 and 2022.

These include arson and vandalism by gunmen on its Udenu LGA office on May 13, 2021, state headquarters office on May 21, 2021 and Ugbeeeze South LGA office on May 23, 2021.

Okoye said that the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Enugu State, Dr Chukwuemeka Chukwu, reported that the office was attacked by gunmen at around 9.12 p.m. on Sunday.

“The security gatehouse was razed. Fortunately, the attackers could not gain access to the main building as a result of the rapid response from the Police and Army personnel from 82 Division.

“The state Commissioner of Police and the REC were personally at the scene immediately they received information about the attack.

“Of the two Policemen deployed to protect the facility, one of them lost his life, while the other sustained injuries and is receiving treatment,” he said.

Okoye prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased policeman and the speedy recovery of the injured.

He said that while the destroyed gatehouse would be rebuilt, INEC was proceeding with its preparations for the 2023 general elections in Enugu State and the entire country as scheduled.

Okoye said that the attack was being investigated by the security agencies.

He added that a meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Enugu State co-chaired by the REC and the Commissioner of Police had been convened to discuss the latest incident.

He said that the meeting was also to design additional strategies of fortifying the offices and protecting the personnel and materials.

Police hunt for perpetrators 

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Mr. Ahmed Ammani, has ordered massive manhunt of the suspected IPOB/ESN renegades involved in the botched attack.

This is contained in a statement issued by Police Public Relations Officer, in the state, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, on Monday in Enugu.

The spokesman said the Commissioner also directed thorough investigation while operatives hunt for the hoodlums.

Ndukwe said that the attack which took place on Sunday at about 9:15p.m., was effectively repelled by police operatives on duty at the INEC office.

He said, “In the ensuing gun duel, however, one of the resilient police operatives sustained a fatal gunshot injury and was taken to the hospital, where he was confirmed dead, and his corpse deposited in the mortuary for preservation.

“Many of the hoodlums who had used a suspected petrol bomb to set the INEC’s security house ablaze, escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds.

“The Commissioner has restated the avowed commitment of the Command to ensure that the deceased police officer did not pay the supreme price in the line of duty in vain.

“The CP also reiterated that the police shall remain focused and intensify existing interagency collaboration towards the protection of INEC facilities and ensure the conduct of peaceful and credible general elections in the state.”

The command spokesman said that the Commissioner enjoined residents of the state, particularly owners of medical facilities, to quickly report anyone who presents a case of gunshot injury to the nearest police station.

He also called on them to remain vigilant and law-abiding and assist the police with necessary information and intelligence that would lead to the arrest of the fleeing assailants and their likes.

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