Abakaliki Magistrate Court 1, located within the premises of the Ebonyi State High Court, has been destroyed by fire, leading to the loss of vital exhibits and documents.
The court building shares a link with the Magistrate Court Registrar’s office, further intensifying the impact of this catastrophic event.
According to reports, the fire broke out in the late hours of Thursday, reducing the properties confiscated by the court from law offenders to ashes.
A Magistrate, who preferred to remain anonymous, accompanied journalists on a tour of the rumble.
He revealed that he and other court staff, who reside in the vicinity of the Magistrate Court, were awakened by the inferno.
“We were startled by the fire. We live in close proximity to the court premises. Upon arrival, we attempted to douse the flames using our fire extinguishers. However, when I discharged one of the extinguishers, the fire unexpectedly escalated, exacerbating the situation,” the Magistrate disclosed.
He continued, “By then, our security personnel had fled the scene. We promptly contacted the state fire service, who arrived and assisted in extinguishing the fire. However, before their arrival, we had exhausted our fire extinguishers.”
The Chief Registrar of the state high court Nnenna Onuoha, confirmed the incident, providing an initial estimate of the damage caused by the fire to be around N40 million.