Anambra gunmen kill teenager, burn 1,240 INEC materials
Some yet-to-be-identified assailants have attacked the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission at Ojoto, in the Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The hoodlums also attacked the Nnobi Police Station and a residential building at the station.
Both Ojoto and Nnobi are in the Idemili South LGA.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the gunmen invaded both facilities around 1.45am on Wednesday in four unmarked Sienna vehicles.
They were reportedly armed with petrol bombs and other explosives.
Sources said the hoodlums burnt the INEC’s office before proceeding to the police station, where they killed the teenage boy and injured another girl.
The hoodlums were said to have been repelled by security operatives before they could carry out further attacks on the police facility.
Confirming the incident, the Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, said security had been reinforced in the area.
Ikenga stated that the command made heavy deployment of security personnel around the state to forestall attacks on other places.
He said, “The Anambra State Police Command today, February 1, 2023, reinforced security deployment in the state following an attack on the INEC office in Idemili South, Ojoto, and Nnobi Police Station.
“The hoodlums came in their numbers by 1.45am today, February 1, 2023, in four unmarked Siena vehicles, armed with IEDs, petrol bombs and other explosives. They invaded the INEC office, the police station and a residential building in the station.
“Unfortunately, one boy aged 16 years, a relative of a serving policeman in the station, was murdered by the armed men, while the other, a female aged 15 years old, sustained a gunshot injury. She has been taken to a hospital where she is receiving treatment. The situation is being monitored and further details shall be communicated, please.”
Reacting to the attack, the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Festus Okoye, said no fewer than 1,240 non-sensitive materials were burnt by the hoodlums.
INEC had recorded over 50 attacks on its facilities across 15 states in the last four years, as this is the third attack in Anambra State.
The commission, in a statement by Okoye, revealed that its building was damaged and non-sensitive materials recently delivered in readiness for the 2023 general elections were destroyed.
However, INEC said the Permanent Voter Cards kept in the fireproof cabinet were not affected and assured that elections would still hold in the LGA.
The statement read in part, “The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Anambra State, Dr Queen Agwu, reported that our office in Idemili South Local Government Area was attacked and set ablaze by unknown gunmen. The incident occurred in the early hours of today, Wednesday, February 1, 2023.
“The building was substantially damaged. All furniture and other items were destroyed, including non-sensitive materials recently delivered in readiness for the 2023 General Elections. Among the items lost to the inferno were 729 ballot boxes, 243 voting cubicles, 256 election bags, 11 megaphones, one electric power generator and large quantities of indelible ink and liquid gum.
“However, uncollected Permanent Voter Cards kept in the fireproof cabinet were not affected by the inferno. Similarly, no sensitive materials have been delivered to the LGA office.
“The destruction appears to have been coordinated as the Nnobi Police Station in the LGA was similarly attacked.”