The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Oru West Local Government Area (LGA), Imo State, was bombed by gunmen on December 4, 2022.
IEDs were used to attack the facility, according to the police, who confirmed the occurrence (IEDs).
Members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed branch, the Eastern Security Network, were implicated in the assault (ESN).
Only a few hours after IPOB issued a warning to law enforcement officials asking them not to blame the group for any such attacks, the police made their assertion.
It claimed that its members were not criminals but rather “intellectual liberation fighters.”
The police said that the attackers were repulsed by their troops and left after being hurt in a statement released by their spokesman CSP Michael Abattam.
At around 4 am, according to Abattam, the attackers invaded the INEC headquarters and began shooting randomly.
He claims that they fired explosives into the facility from the outside, which fell into the conference room of the INEC headquarters and shattered some windows and furniture.
“Gunmen presumed to be from the outlawed IPOB and its armed branch, ESN, arrived in great numbers at the office of the INEC in the Oru West Local Government Area of Imo State, at around 4:00 a.m.,” he claimed.
They fired irregularly and tossed IEDs into the office from beyond the fence, but were repulsed by the bravery shown by the on-duty police officers.
“The police agents, who dealt with the thugs effectively, hurt them to varying degrees.
The hoodlums fled in their vehicle after suffering a crushing loss and were pursued furiously by the operatives.
“However, the bombs landed in the INEC office’s conference room and slightly damaged some of the furniture and windows. No one perished.
The IPOB spokesman Emma Powerful could not be reached because he had not responded to texts left for him.
Festus Okoye, National Commissioner of INEC and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, confirmed the occurrence in a statement. He said that the gunmen vandalized and partially set fire to the facility, which was undergoing reconstruction after a previous attack.
Three out of seven construction workers were reportedly kidnapped but later freed, according to Okoye, who noted that the commission’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Imo State, Prof. Sylvia Uchenna Agu, reported the incident on Thursday.
The INEC official claimed that if not for the dispatched police officers’ prompt action, the damage would have been worse.
Okoye lamented the string of attacks on INEC’s premises and its detrimental effects on the electoral umpire’s preparations for the 2023 general election, calling the incident “one attack too many.”
The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Director, General Mohammed Babagana Mungono was asked by IPOB to present proof that security personnel moved ESN camps and detained some of its commanders earlier yesterday.
The NIA should concentrate on eliminating Boko Haram and other terrorist groups that are “rampaging and destroying lives and property” overseas, he pleaded with them.