By Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia.
Following the burglary that took place at the ICT Department of the Abia State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, all the security staff on duty that day have been either sacked or re-deployed to other units, even as the official car of the head of the department, which was alleged to have been used to ferry out some important materials from the commission’s compound was withdrawn.
The decision to re-deploy the staff came in the wake of a police investigation into the burglary at the ICT department, which led to the arrest of the security personnel on duty, who were detained for over two weeks.
An impeccable source told Sunday Sun reporter that during interrogation of those arrested, some of them alleged that the HOD of ICT, simply identified as Ejiofor, connived with the Chief Security Officer, one Mr Dire, to remove some important property of the commission.
They alleged that each time the official car of the HOD was leaving the Commission’s compound and they attempted to search it, Dire would not allow them to do so.
Those who were sacked after their release from police custody include the civil defense security personnel, the mobile policeman, the soldiers assigned to the office and INEC security officials.
Earlier, the Public Relations Official of the Commission, Mr Edwin Enabor, had told Sunday Sun that it was the Commission that invited the police into the matter following publication of the report on the burglary.
Enabor said that all those who were on duty on the night of the burglary had been redeployed and replaced with new people. He also confirmed the withdrawal of the official car of the HOD, ICT, stating that it was an administrative issue and not because of the theft in the commission. “All the official cars of all the other HODS in the Commission were also withdrawn not because of the burglary, it was an official decision,” he said, adding that the commission was awaiting the outcome of the police investigation.
Unknown persons invaded the Abia State office of INEC and burgled the ICT Unit, and carted away some sensitive materials vital to the functioning of the commission. Among the items stolen were five laptop computers containing information on the last governorship election in the state and other documents.
Workers who resumed work the morning after the burglary made the shocking discovery that one of the windows of the ICT office was broken. It was through it that the burglars gained access to the office and carted away the five laptops containing important and sensitive data on the electorate.