26th December, 2021
Contrary to impressions created by videos on social media, the Police have said there was no looting at Next Cash & Carry Supermarket at Jahi District of Abuja during fire outbreak at the store on Sunday.
Next Cash & Carry Supermarket, one of largest stores in Abuja was engulfed by fire on Sunday.
However, videos circulated on the social media show how goods were being carted away from the supermarket by people believed to be looters as firefighters were struggling to put out the inferno.
While dismissing impressions created in the viral videos, the FCT Police Command, in a statement by DSP Josephine Adeh, its spokesperson said there was no successful case of looting or carting away of goods from the store.
Rather, she said those seen in the video were well meaning members of the community helping to cart away the goods to a safer location as the fire was raging under the supervision of policemen who were on ground during the incident.
She added that the three suspects who made attempts to cart away goods from the store were promptly arrested.
Adeh listed the arrested looters as (1) Ali Audu aged 18 Years; (2) Yahaya Yunusa aged 20 Years; and (3) Sahabi Abubakar aged 20 Years.
Her full statement reads: “Today Thursday, 26th December 2021, at about 1115hours there was a report of a fire outbreak incidence at Next Cash & Carry Supermarket at Jahi District of the FCT.
“Upon receipt of the information, a team of Police officers attached to Mabushi Police Divisional Headquarters responded swiftly to the scene where a concerted effort of the Federal Fire Service, FCT Fire Service, Julius Berger Fire Service and members of other security agencies were deployed to manage the situation, minimize damage, extinguish the inferno and ensure the maintenance of law and order.
“Well-meaning members of the surrounding communities came out en masse and helped in evacuating goods and other valuables from the supermarket to a safe location within the area with the supervision of Police Officers of the Command who were on ground.
“This is contrary to the news making the rounds as there is no successful case of looting or carting away of goods from the store. The suspects who made attempts to cart away goods from the store and were promptly arrested include (1) Ali Audu aged 18 Years; (2) Yahaya Yunusa aged 20 Years; and (3) Sahabi Abubakar aged 20 Years.
“The Commissioner of Police FCT Command, CP Sunday Babaji, psc, also visited and is currently on ground at the scene alongside the Minister for State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, for an on-the-spot assessment and supervision of activities at the scene.
“Investigation is currently ongoing to ascertain the cause of the fire. So far, no casualty has been recorded.”