Another office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) located at Igboeze-South Local Government Area (LGA) of Enugu State was on Sunday razed by fire.
This was disclosed to newsmen in Enugu on Monday by the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the LGA, Romanus Ezekwueme.
According to him, the incident happened around 11 pm on Sunday, as he was on duty with some neighborhood security when they saw flames coming out from the INEC office and immediately rushed to the scene.
“We broke the gate of INEC office because it was locked, only to see that fire has started from the storeroom in INEC building.
“We immediately made a distress call to Nsukka and Udenu fire service who came and helped us to quench the fire,” he said.
The CSO said the intervention of the firemen prevented the fire from spreading to other parts of the building.
“It was only the store in INEC building that was completely razed down by the fire,” he added.
Also, the Chairman of the LGA, Andy Omeje, confirmed the fire incident and thanked the men of the fire service. He confirmed that only the store in the INEC office was affected.
“We thank the fire service for their intervention that prevented the fire from spreading to other rooms in the building.
“When I was called last night that INEC building was on fire, I rushed to the Local Government secretariat where the building is located, I was there till the fire was quenched before I left,” he said.
Omeje, however, expressed concern that INEC officials had been denying security operatives access to the compound at night by locking up the gate, saying access to the compound would help repel hoodlums when they strike.
“Last night, when the fire incident started, it was difficult for neighborhood security to gain access to INEC compound; they have to force the gate open to help stop the fire,” he said.
Meanwhile, the INEC Electoral Officer in Igboeze-South LGA, Mrs. Lorretta Uroko, also confirmed the incident but declined to make further comment.
“I will not comment on this issue until I get permission from my Resident Electoral Commissioner in the headquarters in Enugu,” she said.
This is not the first time an INEC office in the state would be razed by fire.
Ripples Nigeria reported that a fire incident occurred at the INEC office in Obollo-Afor, Udenu LGA of the state on May 13, while its headquarters in Enugu was attacked on May 16, and vehicles and part of the building were razed.