The headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Enugu State, was on Sunday night gutted by fire barely one week after the office in Obollo-Afor, Udenu was razed.
The Chief Fire Officer of Enugu State, Mr Okwudili Ohaa, said timely intervention of Fire Service saved the INEC headquarters from burning down completely.
Ohaa said in Enugu on Monday that five INEC operational vehicles were completely burnt and one was partially burnt.
The fire, whose cause is yet to be identified, broke out at the INEC headquarters in Enugu, located at No. 1 Achi Street, Independent Layout, about 9:30 p.m.
He said that fire-fighters from the state’s fire service were able to put off the fire about 10:30 p.m.
“Our timely intervention saved INEC headquarters Enugu from burning completely.
“We were able to quench the fire immediately as it tried to spread to the main building of the INEC Headquarters.
“It only gutted two seats, probably visitors seats at the corridors upstairs,’’ he said.
Earlier, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Aliyu, about 11p.m. on Sunday, said that he was on ground and taking control of the efforts to put off the fire.
But, a source said the office was set ablaze.
It was gathered that hoodlums numbering about seven in a Mini-Bus stormed the premises of the commission located near Enugu State Broadcasting Service at Independence Layout Enugu and set ablaze the Hilux vehicles, five of which were completely burnt. The sixth was partially destroyed.
They reportedly tried to set the buildings in the premises ablaze but were resisted by security operatives guarding the premises. Some furnitures in one of the offices were said to have caught fire before firefighters arrived.
Residents of the area said they heard sounds of gunshots about 10.pm before the inferno but it could not be ascertained those responsible for the shooting.
The State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Emeka Ononamadu, who confirmed the incident, said that some vehicles in the premises were affected but the office buildings saved.
Firefighters were alerted shortly after the inferno was noticed and they rushed to the scene and prevented the fire from spreading to the main office complex.
Meanwhile, police have cordoned off the area while men of the State Fire Service were still in the premises with their equipment at the time of filing the report.
It could be recalled that INEC office at Udenu Local Government Area of the state was razed by unknown hoodlums and several office equipment and documents destroyed last Thursday. There was no casualty and no arrest has been made.