Police, INEC disagree over assault on commission’s office in Owerri

(Photo by Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP)

The Imo Police Command and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have disagreed over the attempted attack on the commission’s office at Ahiazu Mbaise Local Council of the state.

Though the incident occurred on Sunday night, INEC’s Imo Head, Voter Education and Publicity, Mrs. Emmanuella Ben -Opara, yesterday, admitted that a section of the building was burnt by the arsonists, backing her claim with graphics. She added that the night downpour rescued the situation.

The spokeswoman said the electoral umpire reported the incident to the police.

But the force spokesman, Bala Elkana, in a statement yesterday, said though there was an attempt, he, however, maintained that there was no destruction, as the hoodlums took to their heels on sighting officers.

The press release said: “The attention of Imo State Police Command has been drawn to some reports in the media that the INEC office in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area, Imo State was attacked by hoodlums on Sunday night, May23, 2021.

“The reports are a fiction of the imagination of the authors and a total misrepresentation of facts. On May 23, 2021 at about 23:55hours, police teams deployed to the area sighted thieves breaking the burglary proof of the office, in an attempt to enter and steal.”

On sighting the police, the burglars abandoned their housebreaking implements and took to their heels.

“Nothing was stolen or removed from the building. Also, no part of the building was destroyed as reported in some quarters Police patrol teams are still stationed at the office providing watertight security. All INEC facilities and other critical national assets in the state are adequately protected. “The directives of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to the Commissioner of Police, Imo State, Abutu Yaro, to ensure a watertight security in the state is strictly followed.

“The massive deployment of personnel to identified hot spots in the state, intelligence-driven operations and the round-the-clock surveillance emplaced by the Commissioner of Police have accounted for the peace experienced across the state in the last few weeks. The tempo will be sustained until Imo State is fully restored to the peaceful nature it is known for.”


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