The Imo State Police Command has refuted report of gunmen setting ablaze a Magistrate Court in Owerri, the state capital on Sunday, December 18, 2022.
The police said it was rather an inferno that engulfed the Exhibit Room of the court which was brought under control by the timely intervention of the police operatives and personnel of the Federal Fire Service.
The command in a statement signed by its spokesman, CSP Michael Abattam described as surprising and disheartening the report on social media which claimed that gunmen bombed the court.
It dismissed the report as unfounded and a misrepresentation of the true picture of what happened at the court.
The command said the report was capable of creating fear and panic in the citizens and enjoined journalists to be circumspect in their reportage.
Abattam said;”It is surprising and disheartening to read in the news on social media that, “Unknown gunmen strike again, set Imo Magistrate Court ablaze”.
“This story is unfounded and a misrepresentation of the true picture of what happened, on 18/12/2022 at about 1420hours, as reported by EverydayNewsNgr.
“The Command believes that such unverified reportage could create fear and panic in the minds of the good people of the state and Nigerians at large and advised journalists to always ensure they verify their stories before publishing .
“At this juncture, may I put the records straight: nobody “threw explosives devices on the Court” on 18/12/2022 as claimed by the reporter of EverdayNewsNgr rather, it is suspected to be an electrical fault that caused the fire incident in the Exhibit Room of the Court and was put under control due to the timely intervention of the Police and personnel of the Federal Fire Service in the State.
“Thus, the fire could not spread to cause damages in the premises.
Meanwhile, calm has since been restored, the court registrar informed of the incident. Investigation is ongoing and the premises fortified with enough security personnel.”