End of Westminister law: Nigeria’s First Court Building Burns Down in Calabar

BARELY 48 hours to the New Year, a mysterious fire in the early hours of yesterday razed down the entire Justice Chambers and Court Hall of the 55-year-old Court of Appeal in Calabar, the Cross River State capital. It is the first court in Nigeria.

The inferno, it was learnt started in the colonial structure at about 1a.m and by the time men of the Cross River State Fire Service arrived about an hour later, the chambers and hall had been completely burnt.

Fortunately, the administration, litigation, accounts, library and store departments were unaffected. An official of the court said “sensitive” documents were also unaffected.

The burnt building, which was mostly made of wood, at a time served as the Supreme Court of Nigeria when Calabar was capital of the then Southern Protectorate.

Principal Fire Superintendent of the Cross River State Fire Service, Albert Egbe, who suspected electrical fault or unattended electrical appliances, said they were not alerted on time to douse the fire….

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