Jethro Ibileke/Benin

FILE PHOTO: Scene of fire disater

FILE PHOTO: Scene of fire disater

The departments of Civil Engineering and Philosophy in Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State, were Thursday night razed by fire, with properties worth millions of naira destroyed.

Vital documents, computers, television sets, air conditioners, ceiling fans, office cabinets, refrigerators, office chairs and tables, among others, were destroyed by the fire.

While the cause of the fire could not be immediately ascertained, there was suspicion that the fire was caused by students protesting the handling of their results.

The fire affected the office of the examination officer of the Civil Engineering Department where students’ results, examination scripts and records were kept. They were all burnt to ashes.

A staff member of the university who craved anonymity, said he saw a suspected arsonist pouring liquid substance suspected to be fuel on an air conditioner before striking a match, after which he allegedly ran away.

The Department of Philosophy would have been completely razed by the fire but it was curtailed at the Civil Engineering Department through a combined effort of the Dean of Students Affairs, Chief Security Officer of the university and members of students’ union government.

Some students were said to have cashed in on the situation to loot valuable property, including generator sets, plasma television, computer UPS, laptops and others.

Spokesperson for the institution, Chris Adamaigbo, was not available for comments due to a strike action called by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) chapter of the university.