Fresh information has emerged that the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) office located in Iboko community, Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State which was razed down by fire on Sunday wasn’t an attack by hoodlums as speculated.
Naija News understands that the state Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garba, on Wednesday revealed that the fire was started from inside the facility and that it was never an attack by hoodlums.
According to him, there was no evidence of any external attack on the INEC facility, instead, findings showed the fire started from inside the office.
Naija News reported on Monday that the INEC office in the Izzi local government was razed down by fire destroying lots of items ranging from 340 ballot boxes, 130 voting cubicles, 14 electric power generators, large water storage tanks, assorted office furniture and fixtures, and yet-to-be-determined quantities of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).
It also reported that the Ebonyi government had accused opposition parties in the state of being responsible for the fire.
However, Naija News gathered that the state commissioner of police in a statement signed and issued by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Chris Anyanwu explained that the command carried out an on-the-spot assessment, and discovered that the fire emanated from inside the office building.
Garba noted that there was no electric power supply at the time of the incident to infer/suspect the same as probable cause.
He submitted that “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 which is 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. Record of the left-over PVCs engulfed in the inferno are intact with the E.O. of the area.
“The value of items destroyed thereby is yet to be ascertained. The immediate cause of the incident is yet unravelled, and the same INEC office was engulfed in a similar circumstance some time ago.”
Garba appealed to the INEC chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the government at all levels and to install solar-powered CCTV cameras and fire-fighting tools in all INEC offices to prevent such incidents ahead of the elections.