By Kayode Adeoti
Suspected hoodlums last Thursday allegedly set the magistrate court, Sango area of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital ablaze thereby destroying property worth millions of naira.
The incident was said to have taken place 7am, 30 minutes after the night guard had left the facility.
When this medium visited the scene of the incident around 10am, the fire had already been put off but it was observed that the whole building had been razed.
The wreckage of furniture, roof ceilings, exhibits as well as case files that were kept in the facility since its establishment five years ago, were noticed.
Magistrate Anafi Folorusho Agaka who was sighted at the premises of the court informed this medium that the development came as a huge surprise.
He said, “I was at home this morning when Registrar of the court called me that there was fire in the building, I was shocked that what could have caused such, I left my breakfast and rushed down. When I got here, I saw everything raised down, I went to the back and it became apparent that the building was set ablaze.
“For more than eight months, the building had no electricity supply and we have no doubt that some people set the building ablaze.
When probed on who may have perpetrated the dastard act, the magistrate said that he could not point accusing fingers at anyone.
“The actual person who perpetrated the act, we don’t know,”
Reacting to the rumour that the building was set ablaze by an accused person whose case was pending before him, he said, “I’m a pragmatist, I see things the way it is, everybody can be suspecting anyone but the actual person, we don’t know.
“Actually, we attended to a case which involved a Fulani man, yesterday. He called himself head of Fulani in Tanke area and we granted him bail, so there is no reason for them to do this kind of thing. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t complete the administrative process of the bail, so they need to come back the next day and consequently, he had to be remanded.
“But even with this, I cannot say they perpetrated the act until the police investigation is out.
Meanwhile, in a press statement made available to National Pilot by the Press Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Shola Oyinloye, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Kamaldeen Ajibade SAN reiterated the commitment of the state government to the issue.
The release reads in part; “Hoodlums visited the Sango magistrate court and burned it to ashes. The court was burnt down early hours of 10th January, 2019.
“The AG who went on inspection to the court premises, expressed deep shock concerning the incident and the perpetrator of the evil act.
“The AG promised to take up the matter and see to how the state government can quickly come to the rescue of the state judiciary.”