A fire incident was Tuesday averted at the old Imo State High Court, Orlu Road, Owerri, by Mr. Chidi Ofoma, the driver to the Owerri Administrative Chief Magistrate, Chief Magistrate S. K Kadurumba.
Eye witness accounts had it that the car, with registration number, IMSJ.101, within which the Chief Magistrate came to work was parked in the garage for hours, but suddenly started bringing out smoke from the engine and it took the bravery of the driver who staked his life to role the car out of the garage.
Narrating the incident, the driver, Ofoma said the vehicle in which they came to work was safely parked in the garage, but at a point he heard the madam shouting and he ran inside and met the car covered with thick smoke. He said he tried to start the car and it did not start, but he managed to open the steering and rolled the car out.
He said at that point the fire flamed up, attracting workers and visitors from various parts of the entire court premises who made frantic efforts to put off the fire, before men of the Government House Fire Service arrived to help in totally putting out the fire.
Reacting to the development, the unit commander, Government House fire unit, P.F.S Mbaegbu, said his team responded swiftly to a distress call from the court.
Fielding questions from newsmen, Orji Mba Joy, the registrar of court one where the fire incident took place, said the incident occurred around 11:30am. She described the car as an old vehicle which has been giving the magistrate troubles, overheating and the rest in recent times.
Asked to express her feelings on what should be done, she said, “If something can be done about it; If the government can change the car for her, because she is a chief magistrate. She is above making use of this kind old vehicle and she is now the administrative Chief Magistrate. Who knows what would have happened, had it been this incident occurred on the highway. She operates from Mbaise and you know what that means”.
When contacted, the chief magistrate said she was still in shock and cannot speak to newsmen, until she confers with her boss who will give her directive on what to do or say.
“I am still in shock and you have seen it all. Whatever my driver told you is the true position”.
She however added, “The obvious expectation or desire is that I should have a car to be used in coming to work to perform my official duties”.