Eko Hot Blog reports that gunmen have attacked the residence of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of Kogi State, Dr Hale Longpet, in Lokoja, the state capital.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) made the disclosure in a statement shared on X on Friday.
The incident came a day after some protesters besieged INEC’s state headquarters to protest the results of the recently concluded governorship election in the state.
The commission said the gunmen attack occurred in the early hours of Friday, around 3:30am.
Photos attached to the post showed a burnt car and bullets apparently released by the gunmen.
INEC revealed that the gunmen engaged security personnel attached to Longpet for more than 30 minutes until reinforcement arrived.
While noting that no lives were lost to the attack, the electoral umpire called for a “thorough investigation” and “enhanced protection” for its personnel and assets in Kogi.
“In the early hours of today, Friday 1st December 2023, around 3.30am, gunmen attacked the residence of our Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lokoja, Kogi State,” the statement reads.
“The armed men engaged the security personnel in a gun battle for over 30 minutes until reinforcement arrived.
“While no lives were lost, property was destroyed in the ensuing gun battle. A team of combined security personnel have been deployed to protect the residence. This incident occurred a day after a mob besieged our state office.
“We call for a thorough investigation and enhanced security protection for our personnel and assets in Kogi State.”
The attack came weeks after the state’s governorship election which the opposition parties rejected as rigged.
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ahmed Usman Ododo, won the election in a landslide according to results released by INEC.
His closest opponent, Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), has begun the move to challenge Ododo’s victory at the tribunal, asking INEC to allow him to inspect electoral materials.
However, the electoral umpire has so far refused to give Ajaka access to the materials.
On Wednesday, some protesters branded in SDP shirts besieged the INEC office in Lokoja claiming that the commission was working with the state government to tamper with election materials.
One of them, who identified himself as Danjuma, said they were sure the materials at the INEC office had been compromised by the APC, vowing that those who stole his people’s mandate must not live to enjoy it.
“We have it on good authority that the APC and Yahaya Bello have tampered with the election materials. The materials they are taking to the tribunal have already been doctored. So we are calling on INEC to take the original material to INEC, or we will make Kogi State ungovernable,” he said.
Notably, on the day of the election, filled result sheets showing overwhelming victory for the APC candidate before voting was concluded, flooded social media, fueling concerns of election rigging.
INEC said it was investigating the matter but it is yet to reveal the conclusion of its supposed probe.
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