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INEC Returning Officer shot in Benue

Peter Duru
Makurdi – The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Returning Officer for Gboko Local Government Area, LGA, in the supplementary governorship and state assembly election, Prof. Comfort Luem was this evening waylaid and shot at Abinse in Guma LGA by unknown armed men while on her way to submit election results from the LGA.

Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman Mahmood Yakubu addresses the audience on February 25, 2019 in Abuja during the presidential elections announcement. – Muhammadu Buhari got off to a winning start in his bid for re-election as Nigeria’s president, as the first result was announced today from weekend polls. The 76-year-old former military ruler won 219,231 votes in the southwestern state of Ekiti, while his main opponent, Atiku Abubakar, got 154,032, the electoral commission announced. (Photo AFP)

Vanguard gathered from an eyewitness who is one of the security personnel attached to INEC officials in area that the Toyota Hilux van with registration number FG 273 U01 conveying officials of the Commission ran into the ambush while in a convoy of over 20 cars from Gboko.

According to the witness, “we had finished the collation of the results in Gboko and the Returning Officer had declared the result in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.”

“We were on our way back to Makurdi from Gboko with a retinue of security personnel in a convoy of other cars conveying security personnel to submit the results, when shorting after passing through Annunne in Tarka LGA and approaching Abinse in Guma LGA we saw some unusual movement of young men in the area.

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“Shortly after we heard a gunshot which unfortunately hit the vehicle conveying the Returning Officer and some other officials of the Commission. It as at that point that she screamed that she has been shot.

“Sensing danger we continued with the journey but managed to ensure that she did not lose blood. Luckily we did not lose her, we got to Makurdi with her and she was still stable before we took her to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, BSUTH, were she was immediately admitted for an emergency surgery.

“We successfully brought the results to the INEC head officer in Makurdi and as we speak the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, for Benue state, Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda has gone to see her in the hospital.”

Efforts to speak to the Benue state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Muri was unsuccessful and at the the time of this report the Command was yet to make an official statement on the matter.


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