The Media Centre of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has been gutted by fire, few days after the Corporate Affairs Commission headquarters in Maitama, Abuja, went up in flames.
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It was gathered that the incident affected the office of INEC’s Director of Voter Registry, Emmanuel Akem.
The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Festus Okoye, said apart from some furniture damaged in the inferno, all other sensitive materials remained intact.
At 11.30 am today, 17th April 2020, a fire outbreak occurred at a section of the building housing the Election and Party Monitoring Department and the Media Centre. The building is an annex, detached from the main building of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s headquarters.
Firefighters attached to the Commission swiftly responded to contain the inferno and they were later joined by their colleagues from the Federal Fire Service headquarters in the Federal Capital Territory FCT. The fire was extinguished within a short period of time and did not cause any substantial damage to the building.
Apart from some office furniture and equipment, nothing sensitive was destroyed. Reports of party primaries and conventions are intact. The campaign finance database is also not affected. The incident will therefore not affect the administrative or technical operations of the Commission in any way. “
On his part, the spokesperson of the Federal Fire Service, DSF Ugo Huan, stated that the fire could not cause much damage as it was immediately put out by fire-fighters.
Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory Police Command has launched an investigation into the cause(s) of the fire incident has commenced.
In the meantime, the incident at the INEC Headquarters has drawn wide reactions from Nigerian who have called for a thorough investigation into the incident.
They claimed that the fire outbreak is part of the government moves to conceal information from members of the public who are critical of it policies.