Fire guts Kwara court registry

Files of old cases were burnt in the early hours of Tuesday morning when a fire engulfed the new Kwara State High Court complex located in the Government Reservation Area, Ilorin, the state capital.

Judges working could not also hold their normal court sittings as the fire damaged the main building including court rooms, litigation department and offices located in the court complex.

The fire which was noticed at about 7.25am reportedly caused severe damage to the 40 offices and three open court rooms, registry department and litigation offices of the High Court.

The fire incident, according to the State Fire Service, was said to have been triggered by the surge in electricity supply to the area.

A statement by Head of Media and Publicity of the Kwara State Fire Service, Hassan Adekunle,  which confirmed the fire incident, said the firefighters were alerted to the inferno through a distress call which they responded to.

“On the morning of February 13, 2024, at 07:33 hours, the Kwara State Fire Service received a distress call regarding a fire incident at the State High Court in Ilorin.

“Responding swiftly, the fire crew rushed to the scene to find the imposing State High Court building ablaze. This building, housing 40 offices and three open courtrooms, was in peril, with the registry department and litigation office particularly affected by the inferno.

“Despite the daunting challenges they faced, the firefighters succeeded in saving the State High Court from complete devastation, preventing what could have been a catastrophic loss.”

Adekunle disclosed that subsequent investigation into the cause of the fire revealed that it was triggered by a power surge, highlighting the importance of electrical safety measures.

The statement quoted the state Director of Fire Service, Prince Falade Olumuyiwa, as urging the general public to prioritise safety awareness and precautions in their daily lives adding that, “This call to action underscores the critical role that vigilance and preparedness play in preventing such tragedies from occurring in the future.”

The Chief Judge in the state, Justice Abiodun Adebara, visited the burnt building immediately after the inferno was put out.

A worker in the state judiciary who did not want his name in print because he was not authorised to speak with the press lamented the damage caused to the court property by the fire adding that the Litigation department was badly affected.

“The fire affected the litigation department badly, some files of over 40 years old cases were destroyed by the fire”, he said.

In another fire incident which occurred in Ilorin on Monday evening, a building containing 15 rooms and a shop was completely consumed by Fire.

The building located at Arilewo Street, Oja oke off Airport Road Ilorin in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State was engulfed by fire at about 6.53pm on Monday.

The Kwara fire service spokesman disclosed in a statement that, “Today Monday, February 12, 2024, about 18:53hrs (06:53PM) fire gutted a building of about 15 rooms and one shop as a result of power surge.

“Upon receiving the distress call, Kwara State Fire Service promptly mobilised its firefighting team to the scene. The firefighters arrived at the location and swiftly initiated firefighting operations to suppress the flames and prevent the fire from spreading further. Through the use of specialised equipment and firefighting techniques, the fire service personnel worked diligently to bring the situation under control.

“Fifteen rooms were affected in the building. However, the firemen were able to perform excellently well to minimise the damage, therefore other shops in the building including many tangible properties were saved from the scathed fire”, Adekunle said.

SOURCE:PUNCH

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