On Monday, a part of the Supreme Court that consisted of around three offices was completely destroyed by fire.
According to news report, the fire which destroyed one of the justices’ chambers, started around 8 am.
One of the impacted offices’ books and furniture, among other things, were damaged by the fire, according to our correspondent who visited the scene.
A staff of the court, who did not want his name in print, told our correspondent that the affected chamber belonged to Justice Mohammed Saulawa.
He said, “We were just arriving at work when we heard the sounds of explosions from the third floor of the complex. Some ran out of fear while others stood by and supported the quenching of the fire with the fire extinguishers.
“Around three offices, including that of Justice Mohammed Saulawa, were touched by the fire. It has been put off. There were no casualties in the incident but books in the offices were affected by the fire.”
The spokesperson of the court, Dr Festus Akande, said the fire was caused by an “electrical fault.”
He dispelled speculations that the appeal recently filed by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu were razed by the fire.
Akande said, “The fire only affected a chamber, not five or 10 as being rumoured. What was destroyed were books and computer gadgets. The books are replaceable because we have an e-library.
“It has nothing to do with the election petitions, as being speculated. Whatever that has to do with the petition and the court is not kept in the chamber.”
But the PDP expressed suspicion about the fire, calling for a full-scale probe.
In a statement on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the opposition party said the attack might be “with an intent to cripple and frustrate the Supreme Court from effectively discharging its constitutional duties, especially with high-profile electoral cases, including the presidential election appeals pending before the court.”
The PDP further stated that “the outcome of the investigation should be made public, unlike those of previous fire incidents in various government ministries, departments and agencies, which were characteristically swept under the carpet by the All Progressives Congress administrations.”
It also called on the Federal Government to beef up security around the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory Police Command has said officials are investigating the cause of the fire outbreak at the Supreme Court.
The spokesperson for the police, SP Josephine Adeh, however, said details of the properties destroyed by the fire had yet to be ascertained.