There were heavy shootings at the Nnewi North Local Government secretariat, Anambra State, as some candidates stormed the area in an alleged attempt to snatch ballot boxes.
It was gathered that the incident happened late on Sunday.
The secretariat serves as a collation centre for the Anambra South Senatorial District election, where there are three top contenders in the race.
A sitting senator, Ifeanyi Ubah, the candidate of the Young Progressives Party, Chief Chris Uba, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party and the incumbent member of the House of Representatives, Chris Azubogu, who is contesting on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, were said to have engaged each other in the battle at the area.
Although no life was lost in the incident, the shootings sent journalists, supporters and even INEC officials scampering to safety.
A source said one of the candidates invaded the secretariat with thugs and forced his way into the collation centre, where he attempted to hijack ballot papers that were being counted.
He said, “As they were about to move out of the premises, another group of thugs loyal to one of the candidates stormed the area, quickly blocking them from leaving.
“This caused heavy gunfire, with one of the candidates confronting each other and dispossessing one another of the results one of them had wanted to go away with.
“Chris Ubah was not lucky, as many voters beat him up after Ifeanyi Ubah intercepted his vehicle and took the materials he had confiscated.
“He ran out of his vehicle and the voters used the opportunity to catch him. Azubogu was luckier as he refused to step out of his bulletproof vehicle.
Meanwhile, the media aide to Azubogu, Mr Emeka Onyia, insisted that his principal was only at the secretariat to submit a petition.
The YPP candidate was presumed to be leading in the poll.
When contacted, the state Police spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, said the command was not aware of the incident.