A nine-year-old girl was identified as the culprit of the fire that burnt down Ebeano supermarket in Abuja to ashes on Saturday, July 17, 2021, with goods worth billions of Naira destroyed in the raging inferno.
In CCTV footage widely shared on social media, an unidentified girl could be seen lighting up the fire that destroyed the entire shopping complex, before walking away from the scene.
However, that girl was later identified to be a nine-year-old minor who says she joined her mum and sister in the shop before the fire started.
The girl whose identity could not be ascertained as she is still a minor was arrested and on interrogation, said her mother took her to the supermarket.
In the footage trending on social media, the young girl sauntered into the inflammable items section of the supermarket, which housed gas cylinders, gas cookers, and firelighters and set it alight.
She was seen picking one of the firelighters and setting the others on fire before leaving and later observed from a distance. The fire got bigger and firelighters began exploding and igniting the gas cookers.
When interrogated by the police, she says “My mum took me to the shop. She wanted to buy something for my sister. We went to the market first before going to the shop.”
During questioning, the little girl, who still had same clothes on as she had the same day the fire burnt the supermarket, also showed signs of ignorance as to the damage she caused.
Nigerians expressed anger over the action of the girl, with many alleging that it was an insider’s job as the girl, who is not staff at the Supermarket could not have known where the inflammable section is located.
A resident of Lokogoma district, Martin Ishiaku calls for the girl and her conspirators to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“So sad that Prince Ebeano Super Market was set ablaze deliberately. I hope the girl and whoever sent her are apprehended and charged to court. Economic sabotage at any level is condemnable.
“Just watched the video of the girl who set Ebeano supermarket on fire and it’s really sad. The devil is not in hell with horns. The devil is living among us as humans,” he said.
Another resident, Joy Ameh says the act is not to be taken lightly as another Ebeano Supermarket had been burnt two years ago. She says police must investigate thoroughly.
Meanwhile, a lawyer, Barrister Mike Amoh said the girl can be prosecuted as a minor and sent to juvenile for proper reorientation.
However, FCT police spokesperson, ASP Miriam Yusuf when contacted as of the time of this report, refused to speak on the issue.