… properties worth N40m were destroyed – Chief Registrar, State High court
By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
Strange fire has gutted one of the Magistrate Courts situated within the Ebonyi State Judiciary Complex in the State.
Vanguard’s investigation revealed that the incident occurred on Thursday at midnight.
The inferno razed the affected Court completely with exhibits and other vital documents burnt to ashes.
Properties of law offenders confiscated by the court, which were packed inside the court, were also burnt by the fire.
A Magistrate who did not want his name in print, that conducted Vanguard around the burnt building, said he and some staff of the state High court that reside around the Magistrate Court premises, were awoken from sleep following the fire outbreak.
“We were woken by the inferno. We are living close to the court premises. When we arrived at the scene, we started using our fire extinguishers to quench the fire. I shot one of the extinguishers and the fire exploded and got more serious.
“By this time, our security men had run away. We contacted the state fire service and they came and helped us to quench the fire. Before their arrival, we have exhausted our fire extinguishers”, he stated.
Nnenna Onuoha, Chief Registrar of the State High Court who confirmed the incident, said the estimate of what was destroyed by the fire is about N40 million.
“On the early hours of June and that should be on 3rd June, we got calls from our people living at the magistrate quarters that our court has been gutted by fire.
“We rushed to the court and saw that the court was truly razed by fire; we started asking what could be the cause of the incident. They told us that the fire was from the transformer, and they said the fire came out from the transformer.
“Rescuers called Ebonyi State Fire Service and they came and helped us to quench the fire. As you can see, the building was completely gutted by fire.
“Rough estimate of the property should be up to about N40 million. Most of the exhibits in the court were gutted by fire”, she said.