Judicial activities was on Wednesday grounded at the premises of the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere as fire gutted the chambers of the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Funmilayo Atilade.
The incident which stated at about 8.15am, at the CJ courtroom located on the top floor of the old building, according to eyewitnesses, happened as a result of a spark from one of the air-conditioning unit in the chambers.
The courtroom which is hardly used by the Chief Judge is reserved for her anytime she comes to the Lagos division of the court.
However, the timely intervention of Lagos State Fire Service saved the entire building was from being razed down, as their efforts prevented the fire from spreading to other courtrooms
Their is conflicting report on how the fire started, while a some eyewitnesses claimed that the fire started when one of the cleaners switched on the faulty air-conditioner and left the courtroom.
Some other eyewitnesses reported that the fire was noticed by a security woman attached to the court, who raised alarm.
They said that the security woman, popularly called Alhaja, was later taken to the hospital as a result of the smoke she allegedly inhaled before the arrival of the firefighters..
Although the fire was quickly put out by the fire fighters, the inferno disrupted activities as litigants were evacuated from the premises and the gates locked.
But, some of the furniture and bookshelves in the CJ’s chamber were partly destroyed as a result of the incident.
It was gathered that the fire fighter got to the scene about 30 minutes after the incident started.
An eyewitness, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, (because he was not authorized to speak) said he was in the office when he was informed that there was a fire outbreak.
According to one of the court registrars who also spoke on condition of anonymity, “The fire started from one of the air-conditioning unit in the CJ’s chamber. But, before anyone could get to know about it, it has gone out of control. I quickly informed my colleagues in the office and we ran down the stairs to our vehicles which we drove out of the premises,” he said.