Gunmen attack INEC convoy in Benue, shoot Returning Officer

Aloysius Umalo, Makurdi

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Returning Officer in the Saturday supplementary elections in Benue State, North Central Nigeria, Professor Comfort Tuleun has been shot by gunmen.

Professor Tuleun was returning to Makurdi as the Returning Officer of Gboko with results from the governorship supplementary elections in a white Hilux van belonging to INEC with registration number FG 273 U01.

On March 9th 2019, Professor Comfort Tuleun from the University of Agriculture, Makurdi had served as the Returning Officer in charge of Ushongo Local Government Area of the State.

INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Benue, Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda, has confirmed the attack on the commission’s convoy along Gboko-Makurdi Road by yet to be identified gunmen.
This information was also confirmed via the INEC’s verified twitter handle.

Dr. Yilwatda informed journalists in the early hours of Sunday at the INEC headquarters in Makurdi, that the Returning Officer for the governorship supplementary polls in Gboko, Prof. Comfort Tuleun, was shot during the attack.

“At about 8:30pm on Saturday, an attack was launched on a convoy of INEC personnel returning to Makurdi Collation Centre from Gboko Local Government after the close of the governorship and State Assembly supplementary polls by unknown gunmen.

“In the course of the attack on the convoy that included INEC’s permanent and ad hoc staff, as well as security agencies at Tarka LGA, Prof. Comfort Tuleun, the Gboko LGA Collation Officer for the governorship election, was hit by bullets and she is currently receiving treatment in the hospital.

“The wounded collation officer is from the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

“INEC regrets this unfortunate incident and calls on security agencies to work tirelessly to apprehend these miscreants and bring them to judgment.

“Meanwhile, as a result of this incident, the commission has no choice but to appoint Dr. Joseph Mom also of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi to replace the wounded official.”

An eye witness, Mr. Mtom Isaac who was on the convoy corroborated the position of the REC but questioned the strange behaviour of the driver shortly before the incident.