George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Persons suspected to be political thugs in the early hours of Monday set ablaze the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission at Orlu in Imo State.
Armed thugs had invaded the same office during the collation of the results of the supplementary polls for the federal constituency of Orlu/Orsu/Oru East being contested by Hon Jerry Alagbaso of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and his closest rival Edwin Iheanacho Oku of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and disrupted the collation of results which had forced the returning officer for the polls relocate to the state headquarters of the electoral commission in Owerri.
Hon Jerry Alagbaso had been declared the winner of the polls by INEC after three days of collation of the results.
It was learnt that the early morning inferno had wreaked havoc on the secretariat as the men of the state fire service were not on hand to extinguish the fire which in the process destroyed sensitive documents.
After three days, INEC completed the collation at its office in Owerri, the state capital and declared Jerry Alagbaoso of the PDP the winner.
When contacted, the spokesman of the Imo State Police Command Mr Orlando Ikeokwu (SP), who confirmed the incident, disclosed that the state Commissioner of Police, Olaniyi Fafowora, had ordered investigation into the incident.
“The state Commissioner of Police has dispatched the operatives to the scene of the incident. The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations led the squad to the scene.”