The residence of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, was gutted by fire on Sunday.
The house is located on an unnamed estate in Asokoro, Abuja.
It was gathered that security personnel and some residents who were around at the time of the incident were able to put out the fire, which was said to have been caused by a suspected electrical fault in the minister’s room.
Sources told our correspondent that Kachikwu was not at home at the time of the incident
A source said, “The minister’s residence is located on an estate on the outskirts of Asokoro. It was gutted by fire which was caused by an electrical fault.
“He was not at home when the incident happened, but some policemen and residents were able to handle the situation.
“It is not a serious incident; it only affected a part of the building and I think it was his room.”
Our correspondent observed the presence of armed riot policemen along the road leading to the exquisite estate where the minister resides in Asokoro.
It was noted that the officers screen any visitor coming into the estate before he or she would be granted access.
Kachikwu had been in the news in the past weeks; he wrote a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari against the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru, which was leaked to the media.
It was also observed that the street where Kachikwu’s residence is located had no name.
One of the private security guards stationed at the gate to the street told our correspondent that he would not be allowed entry into the street unless he (reporter) got approval.
When asked to explain how one could get such approval, the officer, who was in company with some armed riot policemen, replied, “Someone living on this street has to clear you or give you an approval before we can allow you here. So, please leave here or better still, get an approval.”
The spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Idang Alibi, who confirmed the fire incident, added that it was not an act of sabotage.
He said, “There have been various speculations that the fire incident at the minister’s residence on Sunday was an act of sabotage. No! There is nothing like sabotage in it.
“It is nothing so serious because the fire only affected a part of his apartment and was put out. So, there is no need to blow the situation out of proportion.”