Four hoodlums were shot dead on Sunday night in a gun duel between the Police and the gunmen at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Awka, Anambra state.
Addressing newsmen at the state INEC office, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Owolabi said the defensive counter attack recorded 95 percent success, adding that arms and ammunitions were recovered from the hoodlums.
He however did not provide casualty figures as investigations were ongoing, but said none of his men lost his life in the incident.
He said, “I got a call around 8.15am that my B-division was under attack by armed hoodlums, and there were lots of firing of guns and disturbance of public peace. My men there defended themselves and resisted the hoodlums very strongly.
“We all know it’s a decoy to attack INEC. So we proceeded to the office where we were able to engage the hoodlums and mobilized the three vehicles they came with which made them scamper for safety.
“We recovered quite a lot firearms, including 6 pump actions, one type 06 rifle and one AK47 rifle, Police baret, one explosives IED and charms.
“Investigations are still ongoing because it seems the developments are changing so I can’t tell you specifically how many casualties. We’re still searching hospitals and remote places to recover them.
“But I can guarantee you specifically that there’s no casualty on the part of the police. It was a 95 percent success for us because of the buildings and vehicles that were affected both in INEC and our charge rooms in B-division.”
While assuring the people of the state of safety, Owolabi urged them to be law abiding as they go about their normal businesses and to keep security agencies abreast of development around their areas.
“We’re working with all the forces, army, navy, civil defence, DSS and others including joint patrol. We’re back in the street reclaiming the public space.
On his part, the INEC Resident Electoral Commission, Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji disclosed that six of the office vehicles,
collation center and part of its store were affected in the incident.
“The damage is not substantial because the police was able to contain them. The areas affected was the open space we use for our collation center and part of our store. About 6 vehicles were affected. But we’re still accessing the damage.
Asked if the incident would affect the November 6 election, the INEC chief simply said, “conducting election is for the Commission to decide.”