Cause of Abuja Supermarket Inferno: CCTV to the Rescue

*Picks a 9 Year-old as the Arsonist

Ade-Ade Bosun, Abuja

At about 7pm on Saturday, July 18, 2021, the popular Ebeano Supermarket in Abuja went up in flames. While the more concern was whether or not there were human casualties, no one was in any doubt that most of the goods in the three storey edifice, calculated to be in billions would be spared. Indeed at the end of the inferno which lasted till it burnt out at the early hours of the next, an estimated N5bn worth of items were reduced to charcoal
As fire fighters from several locations, including those from Asokoro, Garki, Games Village and the National Judicial Institute, all in Abuja metropolis, battled unsuccessfully to put out the blaze, the search for the source of the inferno began nonetheless. As the Public Relations Officer, PRO, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Fire Services, Ibrahim Muhammed, put it, no one can tell exactly what went wrong until specific examination has been conducted.
But thankfully, the close circuit television, CCTV, monitor has since come to the rescue. In ways that left even doubting Thomases convinced, it identified an unnamed 9 year-old girl as the arsonist who created the destructive fireball that left a chunk of the Abuja sky lit up that fateful Saturday night.
As captured in the few but distinct CCTV footages, the young, said to have come to the huge retail outlet in the company of two older women, walked gayly down the aisle and to the point she apparently lit the fire amidst a shelf stacked with books, gas cylinders and flammable lighters. Certain none of the few customers paid her any attention, she, as seen in the first footage, went on to light a fire using one of the flammable lighters which she left between the pack of other obviously combustible items in the shelf.
Noticeably, her demeanor left no doubt that she was familiar with the point. At least, there was no sense of hesitation in her gait as she walked up to the point and directly went about her business. In any case, the CCTV camera picked an individual that looked like hers, watching from a safe distance, arguably to be sure the fire caught on before the image disappeared from vision. Thereafter, it was pandemonium as the blaze went from minor to a raging inferno which lasted until it burnt itself out the next day.
One or two minutes after the fire began, the young girl, spotting black T-shirt and a pair of trousers of the same hue, is seen in company of the two women she allegedly came with, one seemingly her mother, the other an elder sister but the former holding her left hand, outside the burning supermarket. They moved out of camera coverage only for the younger women to return a while later. She appeared to take a more curious look at the burning retail outlet after which she left with what seemed like a smirk on her face.
Ebeano is one of Abuja’s biggest retail outlets and one of several that have been torched in recent times. The Kugbo Furniture Market, Asokoro Extension, where fire burnt down shops and valuables worth billions, is yet another. will serve you more details as they unfold.

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