The Ondo State Police Command says the Nigeria Navy Forward Operating Base was not responsible for the burning of a medicine store in Igbokoda, Ilaje Local Government Area of the state as alleged.
ASP Tee Leo-Ikoro, the Police spokesman, made the clarification in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on telephone on Saturday.
NAN reports that there was a report alleging that Naval personnel of FOB set the medicine store on fire, while enforcing the curfew imposed by the state government and movement restriction against the spread of Coronavirus in the state.
Leo-Ikoro said: “The Navy knew nothing about the fire incident as widely reported by an online media.”
According to him, the victim, one Taiwo Menuko, had confessed that she put a gas cylinder on in the shop.
He added: “And, while she was trying to run away, after sighting the patrol team, the gas cylinder fell and ignited the fire that razed the shop.
“Navy knew nothing about this incident.
“They even helped to put out the fire.
“The report was the effect of social media that will not investigate matters but going ahead to misinform the public.”
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Commander Attah Sule, the Acting Information Officer, FOB, had earlier in a statement said the fire incident that happened on April 16 was caused by the victim herself as she was cooking on a gas cylinder.
Sule said in an effort to run away after sighting the patrol team from afar, she tripped the cylinder, which ignited the fire.
He quoted an online media of April 17 with with headline: “Naval personnel enforcing movement restriction in Ondo allegedly set medicine store on fire,” adding: “We have to put the record straight that the story is untrue, biased and imbalanced against the fire incident that happened on April 16, is just an attempt to smear the image of the Navy.
“This can be verified that the allegations against the Navy is coming at a time when the Navy has stopped the trade on illegally refined petroleum products which is the mainstay of many people in the area.”