ABEOKUTA – Some suspected hoodlums, in the early hours of Thursday, burnt an office of the Independent National Electoral Commission at Iyana Mortuary in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
According to an eyewitness account, the hoodlums, numbering about eight reportedly scaled the perimeter fence, jumped into the premises and set the INEC building on fire from the back.
It was gathered that the hoodlums after invading the premises, soaked loaves of bread with petrol and threw same into the building at different angles to light up the INEC office.
It was further gathered that a security guard at the facility identified as Azeez Hamzat, had made a distress call to the police around 1am alerting them on the fire incident.
The police from Ibara division reportedly mobilized detectives to the scene and later contacted men of fire service in the state , who raced to the scene to put out the fire.
When contacted, the Ogun INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Niyi Ijalaye confirmed the incident, describing it as shocking.
The REC said the situation was still being assessed.
He said “It is correct that our office was set on fire. The police are investigating. I do not know what to say. I’m in shock myself.
“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.
“It is very shocking and untoward. The security agencies are doing their very best. We are meeting again later today to come up with other strategies (toward securing our facilities).”
A source in the INEC hinted that the store, the Registration Area Officer’s office, and the conference room were affected by the inferno.
The source also told our correspondent that non-sensitive materials were also affected by the fire.
“No life was lost and no injury was sustained in the fire,” the source disclosed.
When contacted, the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the timely intervention of Police rescue team from Ibara Divisional Police station and the state Fire service prevented much havoc from the scene.
Oyeyemi who spoke with THE ENCOUNTER NEWS on a telephone interview, said the Police has launched investigation into matter, vowing that none of the arsonists will go unpunished.
He said the Commissioner of Police, CP Lanre Bankole has directed the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) to launch manhunt for the assailants.
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