It would be recalled that the fire incident which occurred at the computer section of the office of the commission destroyed some electoral materials, particularly the card reader machines procured for the forthcoming election.
Chairman of INEC’s Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said 5,141 card readers meant for the October 10 Ondo governorship election were destroyed.
While many political analysts have suggested sinister motives behind the outbreak, the Ondo State Commissioner of Police, Bolaji Salami, said there was no foul play involved.
Speaking during a media briefing on Monday, September 14, the police boss said the fire was caused by faulty electrical connection to where the smart card readers were stored.
Investigation into the incident is out. The fire was caused by a faulty electrical connection and all the smart card readers were burnt. The smart cards were kept in two containers on the premises of INEC and the air conditioners were kept on for 24 hours.
If there are other findings we will let you know. For now, the major cause is faulty electrical connections.
Salami said the the investigation was concluded in collaboration with the Federal Fire Service.
This comes few days after INEC declared that the inferno would not stop the October 10 governorship election in the state.
The Residents Electoral Commissioner in the state, Ambassador Rufus Akeju, who spoke with journalists at the commission’s headquarters in Alagbaka, Akure, on Friday, said the schedule of the election remained unchanged despite the incident.
INEC suffered a series of similar fire incidents that destroyed election materials ahead of the general elections last year.
A section of the building housing the Election and Party Monitoring Department, and the Media Centre at the commission’s head office in Abuja was also gutted by fire in April 2020, but did not cause any substantial damage.