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Ahead of 2023 polls, fire guts INEC offices in Ogun and Osun

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Barely three months to the 2023 polls, fire has destroyed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices in two states — Ogun and Osun.

The fire occurred at INEC office in Ede South Local Government Area of Osun located within the premises of the council area in Oke Iresi, Ede, the home of the Governor-elect, Sen. Ademola Adeleke of the PDP, who is due to be inaugurated later this month.

 

In Ogun, the commission’s office in Abeokuta South council area at Iyana Mortuary in the state capital, was destroyed by a midnight fire believed to have been kindled by suspected hoodlums, Persecondnews reports.

 

Smoke was first noticed in the Conference Room of the office in Ede, some few minutes to 10.00am on Thursday and firefighters were immediately called in.

Witnesses said the room was completely razed with furniture and some other items.

Items such knife, slices of bread, a keg containing petrol and a fez cap were recovered from the scene of the fire, suggestive of arson.

Commenting on the incident, spokesman for Osun INEC, Seun Osimosu, said:“It is true. REC is on his way to inspect the scene. We will respond appropriately soonest.”

On the Ogun midnight fire, Persecondnews gathered that hoodlums, numbering about eight reportedly scaled the perimeter fence and set the building on fire.

The hoodlums after invading the premises, soaked loaves of bread in petrol and threw them into the building from all sides before igniting the fire.

It was also gathered that a security guard on duty, Azeez Hamzat, had made a distress call to the police at 1.00am alerting them of the fire.

The Police Divisional headquarters at Ibara had dispatched detectives to the scene and also informed the state fire service.

The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ogun, Barrister Olaniyi Ijalaiye described the fire as shocking.

“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),” he said.

No arrest has been made by security agencies in connection with the two fires.

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