First rain of the year in Benin, Edo State has wreaked havoc on the ancient city.
The roof of the historical Urokpota Hall was blown off by wind which accompanied the Monday rain. The hall, currently serving as a Mobile Court for the state judiciary, was completely damaged. The incident occurred about 4pm while the hall was filled by men and women arrested for violating the COVID-19 safety rules.
The hall was built during the reign of Oba Ozolua in the 15th Century but was redesigned in 1906 for coronation activities of a monarch for the ancient city.
The hall was gutted by fire last year, which damaged the front of the ancient building. A security agent, who does not want his name in print, said the hall was damaged by a rainstorm. He said: “We were here about 4pm when the rain started.
At first, nobody knew it was going to be that bad. But suddenly, it came with wind.
You know that the front view was already destroyed by fire last year, so it was this place that is left, the wind removed everything. However, we thank God that nobody died.
“More than 100 people were arrested for violating the COVID- 19 safety rules and were there. Thank God that nobody died here.”