A yet-to-be-ascertained number of suspects detained at the Badia Police Station in the Ijora area of Lagos were on Sunday set free and file exhibits looted by hoodlums during a midnight fire that razed the divisional headquarters.
The midnight fire also destroyed exhibits worth several millions of naira kept in the custody of the police.
An eyewitness account listed items that were destroyed to include air conditioners, television, computers, fans and personal belonging of policemen serving at the station.
Our correspondent learnt that most of the suspects detained inside the police cell were hastily freed by the policemen on duty to avoid any death.
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It was also learnt that while some took advantage of the inferno to bolt away, others stayed behind.
Though no life was lost during the fire outbreak, sources said some of the detained suspects as well as some policemen sustained varying degrees of injuries while trying to escape.
“The fire was later put out with the help of neighbours and officials of the state fire service” Ahmed Lukman, one of the residents said.
Another witness, Tokunbo Laolu, said it started at the back of the building, adding that some residents and passersby assisted to put out the fire but were unsuccessful.
He said men of the Lagos State Fire and Safety Service later arrived to prevent the fire from spreading beyond the premises of the station.
When contacted, Police Public Relations Officer in Lagos State, Benjamin Hundeyin, said no suspect was freed and no exhibit was destroyed by the fire.
He confirmed that the fire outbreak razed a section of the station but was immediately put out.
“I tell categorically that no suspect was set free and no exhibit was destroyed. The divisional police officer told me that all exhibits were evacuated when the fire started,” Hundeyin added.