The Kogi State Police Command has confirmed the attack on the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission and some ad hoc staff by armed hoodlums in the state.
The attack was said to have occurred on Sunday at Obajana while the INEC team was on their way from Kupa North and South Wards to the constituency collation centre in Lokoja.
A statement issued on Sunday evening by the Public Relations Officer of the state command, SP William Aya, stated that, “The police escort attached to the team responded robustly and engaged the hoodlums in a fierce gun duel.”
He noted that on receipt of a distress call, reinforcement teams were promptly mobilised and sent to the scene which equally engaged the attackers, noting that owing to the superior fire power of the police, the attackers were forced to flee with varying degrees of injuries.
He said the Commissioner of Police in charge of elections in Kogi State, CP Yekini Ayoku, led a rescue team to the scene for an on-the-spot assessment and later led the evacuation of the 96 rescued victims comprising INEC officials, ad hoc staff, bus drivers, and others to the INEC headquarters in Lokoja, while the three injured victims were evacuated to the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, for treatment.
He said the Commissioner of Police accordingly ordered the deployment of operational and tactical assets of the Force to embark on thorough combing of the general area with a view to apprehending the attackers and to rescuing the two victims yet to be accounted for.
“The CP further tasked the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation Department, to commence thorough investigation with a view to apprehending the miscreants and bringing 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 would not rest on their laurels in the fight against criminality in state,” Aya added.