Dr. Gabriel Longpet, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Kogi state, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on Friday at his residence, as reported by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Gunmen launched an attack on the REC’s residence in Lokoja, the state capital, around 3:30 am, engaging security personnel in a prolonged gun battle until reinforcements arrived.
While no lives were lost, the exchange resulted in property damage. In response, a combined team of security personnel has been deployed to safeguard the residence. The incident occurred shortly after a previous incident where a mob surrounded the state INEC office.
The statement from INEC emphasized the need for a comprehensive investigation into the incident and enhanced security measures to protect personnel and assets in Kogi State.
The attack followed a protest by supporters of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) at the INEC office in Lokoja a few days prior. The protesters alleged INEC’s tampering with election materials, prompting security agencies to intervene, dispersing the crowd with tear gas and securing the area.
In response to the events, the Kogi state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bethrand Onuoha, urged politicians and INEC to adhere to legal and constitutional processes, especially since election-related matters are under the purview of the Election Petition Tribunal. He emphasized the need to maintain peace in the state after the recently concluded off-cycle governorship election.