The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Abeokuta South local government in Ogun, located at the Iyana Mortuary area, was gutted by fire in the early hours of Thursday.
It was gathered that the facility was allegedly set on fire by suspected hoodlums who scaled the perimeter fencing into the commission’s premises.
The hoodlums, numbering about eight, soaked loaves of bread in petrol and threw them into the building from different points to set alight the facility.
A source said the security guard on duty, Azeez Hamzat, made a distress call to the police around 1:00 a.m. that the facility was on fire.
It was learnt that the police from the Ibara division mobilised detectives to the scene while contacting firefighters, who raced to the scene to put out the fire.
It was also gathered that the inferno affected the store, the registration area officer’s office, and the conference room. The source added that non-sensitive materials were also affected by the fire.
“No life was lost and no injury was sustained in the fire,” the source said.
Reacting to the incident, the State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Niyi Ijalaye, described the incident as shocking.
“It is correct that our office may have been deliberately torched. The police are investigating the matter. I do not know what to say. I’m in shock myself,” stated Mr Ijalaye. “We called the police and other security agencies at night. The fire brigade put the situation under control. The level of damage is still being assessed.”
He added, “It is very shocking and untoward. Security agencies are doing their very best. We are meeting again later today to come up with other strategies toward securing our facilities.”
When contacted, the police spokesman in Ogun, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said he would find out about the incident before making any statement and that he had just learnt of the fire and would find out what happened from the police officer of the division.
Source: Peoples Gazette
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