The Ondo State Police Command says the fire incident at the Akure office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was caused by an electrical fault.

The fire gutted a large container housing smart card readers late on Thursday, September 10, 2020.

Chairman of INEC's Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said 5,141 card readers meant for the October 10 Ondo governorship election were destroyed.

While many political stakeholders have suggested sinister motives behind the outbreak, the Ondo State Commissioner of Police, Bolaji Salami, said there was no foul play involved.

Speaking during a media briefing on Monday, September 14, the police boss said the fire was caused by faulty electrical connection to where the smart card readers were stored.

He said, "Investigation into the incident is out. The fire was caused by a faulty electrical connection and all the smart card readers were burnt.

"The smart cards were kept in two containers on the premises of INEC and the air conditioners were kept on for 24 hours.

"This will put to rest speculations that the fire was caused by saboteurs.

"If there are other findings we will let you know. For now, the major cause is faulty electrical connections."

Salami said the the investigation was concluded in collaboration with INEC and the Federal Fire Service.

Okoye said last week the destruction of the card readers will not affect the October 10 election.

INEC suffered a series of similarly questionable fire incidents that destroyed election materials ahead of the general elections last year.

A section of the building housing the Election and Party Monitoring Department, and the Media Centre at the commission's head office in Abuja was also gutted by fire in April 2020, but did not cause any substantial damage.