Kogi State Police Command has confirmed the attack on some youth corp members, security operatives and staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, on election duty in the state on Sunday. No life was lost, but eyewitnesses said some persons were wounded while others got missing in the attack.
Public Relations Officer of the Command, William Ayah confirmed the attack in a statement on Sunday. The attack reportedly took place at Obajana in the early hours of the day.
The victims were returning from election duty in the Kupa district of Lokoja when they were waylaid by the heavy gunmen. The injured were rushed to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Lokoja for treatment.
The police urged people to give information on people with gun wounds and other suspects to law enforcement agencies in the area.
Ayah’s statement reads:
“On Sunday 19th of March, 2023, INEC Officials and Adhoc Staff came under heavy attack by armed hoodlums at Obajana while on their way from Kupa North and South Wards to the Constituency Collation Centre in Lokoja. The Police escort attached to the team responded robustly and engaged with hoodlums in a fierce gun duel. On receipt of the distress call, reinforcement teams were promptly mobilized and sent to the scene which equally engaged the attackers and owing to the superior firepower of the Police, the attackers were forced to flee with varying degrees of injuries.
“The Commissioner of Police in charge of Election in Kogi State, CP Yekini Ayoku, mni, led the rescue team to the scene for an on-the-spot assessment. He later led the evacuation of the ninety-six (96) rescued victims comprising INEC Officials, Adhoc Staff, Bus drivers and others to the INEC Headquarters in Lokoja. While the three (3) injured victims were evacuated to the Federal Medical Centre Lokoja for treatment.
“The Commissioner of Police has accordingly ordered the deployment of operational and tactical assets of the Force to embark on thorough combing of the general area to apprehend the attackers and to rescue the two (2) victims yet to be accounted for.
“The CP further tasked the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation Department to commence a thorough investigation to apprehend the miscreants and bring them to deserved justice.
“The Commissioner of Police while commending the gallantry displayed by the men of the Force, urged members of the public particularly the adjoining communities to be on the lookout and report anybody seen with bullet wounds to the nearest security Formation or agencies. He assured the public that the Police will not rest on their oars in the fight against criminality in the state