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Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has turned a police detective, as he cracks the recent arson attacks on INEC in his state. He has a suspect in view.

His suspect is least expected. He is Prof. Lai Olurode, a former National Commissioner of INEC.

Uzodimma in a statement on Tuesday said Olurode should be quizzed over the attacks.

“The governor believes that Prof. Olurode’s inciting comments over the attacks on INEC offices were mere smokescreen to cover up what the unsuspecting members of the public may not know, but which the former INEC official knows about the attacks for which he should be properly investigated”, said U.C. Obiagu, the press secretary.

Prof Olurode in a statement credited to him in The Guardian of Monday, 24 May said that “the court ruling that produced Governor Hope Uzodimma and agitation by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) were likely reasons for the recent attacks on the Commission’s offices.”

“The perception that elections do not always reflect the will of the people in the country was another factor that should not be ignored….Most of the attacks in Imo State was caused by the ill-fated election.

“It was more of judicial victory, because that election in which someone, who lacked the formidable electoral strength became governor.”

Obiagu said Governor Uzodimma believes that Prof Olurode was either directly involved in the attacks on INEC offices as recently witnessed in parts of the country or deeply connected to those perpetrating the ill.

“The governor said the only way Prof. Olurode can absolve himself from the attacks on INEC offices is if he is properly interrogated by security agents.

“Governor Uzodimma noted that Prof. Olurode has shown that the years he spent in INEC were a complete waste if he could not come to terms with the role of the judiciary in the electoral process.

“The governor wondered how possible it is for any politician in the country to win or lose an election through the Nigerian courts without INEC’s involvement.

“Governor Uzodimma reasoned that Prof. Olurode and his likes have done great damage to the Nigerian society by playing the ostrich and feigning ignorance of how the judiciary contributes in deepening our democracy, particularly in an environment where electoral fraud and criminality are elevated to a faith.

“The governor therefore urged members of the public not to look beyond their shoulders for those destroying our democracy and of late, burning INEC offices and other government property, as Prof. Olurode from every indication, fits the mould and ought to be made to face the law if found culpable”.

Several INEC offices have been attacked by hoodlums in the state since April.

The latest was the attack on INEC office at Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area on 24 May.

In February, the INEC office in Orlu was also razed.

This followed the declaration of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Jerry Alagboso, as the winner of the re-run Orlu/Orsu/Oru East Federal Constituency election

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