Over 5,000 smart card readers are alleged to have been destroyed in the fire that engulfed the head office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akure on Thursday, 10th September.

On Friday, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of INEC in the state, Amb. Rufus Akeju, said that the inferno started at about 7:30pm after the office had been closed for the day.

According to him, 5,141 smart card readers have been destroyed in the fire.

Mr Akeju added that things could have escalated if not for the timely intervention by the Ondo State Fire Service, Federal Fire Service, and fire service officials from Ilesa, Osun State.

The actual cause of the fire is yet to be known, but the REC assured that appropriate agencies are already investigating the incident.

The Commissioner also stated that the incident will not affect the coming election in the state, stressing that necessary arrangements are being put in place to replace the burnt materials.

This fire outbreak comes only a few weeks to the October 10 governorship election in the state.

Festus Okoye, INEC’s Commissioner in charge of Information and Voters Education, said that the fire affected the Information and Communication Technology section of the Commission. He said about 1000 card readers for INEC, Osun State and 4000 card readers for Ondo State were destroyed.

He firmly assured that the inferno will not lead to the postponement of the polls.