A fire outbreak has ravaged one of the Magistrate Courts located within the Ebonyi State Judiciary Complex. Thorough investigation unveiled that the incident took place on Thursday, precisely at midnight.
The inferno mercilessly reduced the affected Court to ashes, obliterating crucial exhibits and other vital documents. The court’s premises also housed confiscated properties belonging to law offenders, which tragically fell victim to the destructive flames.
A Magistrate, preferring anonymity, guided Vanguard through the charred remains of the building, recounting how he and several High Court staff residing nearby were abruptly awakened by the raging fire.
“The inferno roused us from our slumber. We live in close proximity to the court premises. Upon arriving at the scene, we swiftly employed our fire extinguishers to combat the blaze. However, one of the extinguishers malfunctioned, causing the fire to intensify,” the Magistrate disclosed.
“At that point, our security personnel had already fled. We promptly contacted the state fire service, and they arrived to assist us in extinguishing the fire. Nevertheless, before their arrival, we had depleted our fire extinguishers,” he added.
Confirming the incident, Nnenna Onuoha, the Chief Registrar of the State High Court, lamented the estimated damage caused by the fire, reaching a staggering sum of N40 million.
“In the early hours of June 3rd, we received distress calls from our residents at the magistrate quarters, informing us of the court’s engulfment in flames. We rushed to the scene only to witness the heartbreaking reality of the court being completely ravaged by fire. Ascertaining the cause of the incident, we were informed that the fire originated from a transformer,” Onuoha revealed.
“Rescue efforts summoned the Ebonyi State Fire Service, and their timely intervention helped quell the flames. As you can see, the building has been utterly decimated. A rough estimate of the damages amounts to approximately N40 million. Regrettably, numerous exhibits within the court succumbed to the fire,” she lamented.
The catastrophic blaze at the Ebonyi State Magistrate Court has dealt a severe blow to the judicial system, causing irreparable loss and anguish. Efforts to determine the root cause of the fire outbreak and to facilitate the reconstruction of the court premises will be paramount in restoring the efficient administration of justice in the state.