A medicine store servicing residents of Igbokoda under Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State has been allegedly set ablaze by some Nigerian Navy personnel.
The store belonging to one Taiwo Menuko was razed by the naval personnel on a patrol around 7:00 pm on Thursday.
The men, who committed the act, were said to be from the Forward Operating Base of the Nigerian Navy at Igbokoda.
SaharaReporters gathered that the naval officers claimed to be enforcing the movement restriction in the state to curb the spread of Coronavirus when they carried out the act.￼
A resident, who asked not to be named, disclosed that the incident had been reported to the police in Igbokoda.
Confirming the incident, the Ilaje Leadership Forum, a group in the community, said the naval officers invaded the store, harassed the owner before setting it ablaze.
Spokesperson for the group, Mr Emorioloye Owolemi, said, “A group of naval personnel on patrol invaded the medicine store owned by the young lady at Omonira Street, Igbokoda.
“The men, on sighting residents purchasing medicine at the store, immediately fired gunshots into the air before burning down the place.
“In fact, it was through combined efforts of the community members that we were able to rescue the two children of the store’s owner sleeping inside the shop.
“If at all the shop owner breaches the law and needed to be punished, the security agents should have simply arrested her for prosecute rather than burning down her source of livelihood.
“We are demanding justice for this young lady whose only means of livelihood has been destroyed.” ￼
Commanding Officer of Forward Operating Base, Igbokoda, Commodore Danjuma Ndanusa, could not be reached for comment when contacted by SaharaReporters.
Spokesperson for the police in Ondo, Mr Tee Leo-Ikoro, when contacted denied the incident, adding that the naval officers knew nothing about the fire that destroyed the medicine store.
He said, “Both the navy and police were on a joint patrol of the street to enforce the curfew as instructed by the state governor.
“There is a woman selling bean cake near the medicine store that uses a gas of cylinder and immediately she saw security personnel on patrol, she ran away and abandoned her items while the gas was on. ￼
“It was the cylinder that caused the fire and burnt the store not that the officers set it ablaze as claimed.”