Suspected hoodlums on Saturday midnight attacked the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Ijebu-Ijesa, Oriade Local Government Area in Osun State.
During the attack, the suspects were said to have burnt card readers and ballot papers of the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections.
It was gathered that the hoodlums would have razed down the entire building, but for the timely arrival of security operatives.
A security officer who pleaded anonymity said the incident happened after INEC officials had already declared results of the elections in the local government areas and moved both the staff and some materials to the Senatorial Collation Centre at Ilesa Grammar School.
Another INEC official, who claimed to have witnessed the event and spoke on condition of anonymity, corroborated the security officer’s narrative, saying the commission’s officials had already declared results before the thugs came.
“The hoodlums obviously did not want the result of the elections in the area to be declared. But, they came too late,” the source said.
The INEC spokesperson in Osun State, Mrs Sayo Adedokun, confirmed the incident but said since the result sheets were not affected at all, the hoodlums’ action would not affect the election results.
“The hoodlums wanted us to cancel the results but they failed. They came too late because the results had already been declared. Also thankfully, the result sheets were not affected,” she said.
Likewise, the Public Relations Officer of the Osun State Police Command, Mrs Folasade Odoro, confirmed that the incident took place, but that it was quickly brought under control.
She vowed that the perpetrators would be arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.
She said, “At about 3.30am on Sunday, some hoodlums wielding guns and firing ‘sporadically’ attempted raiding the INEC office at Ijebu-Ijesa.
“In the process, the generator kept outside at the commission’s office caught fire and subsequently affected some empty ballot boxes and mats kept outside.
“The assailants were however repelled and the situation was brought under control. An intensified effort is being made to round up the culprits.”