Court jails two electricity transformers vandals
BEDC calls for compliance to safety standards
A Benin Magistrate Court sitting in Ubiaja in Esan South East LGA, of Edo state, has sentenced two transformer vandals, Mohammed Dan Fulani, 27 and Babangida Aliyu, 29 to 1 month and two weeks imprisonment with hard labour for vandalizing a Benin Electricity Distribution Plc (BEDC) transformer.
Besides, BEDC has supported the celebration of the 2018 edition of World Safety Day with call by its Safety Managers, Mr. Gilbert Nweke on organizations to ensure strict compliance to the highest safety standards with a view to reducing occupational hazards.
The two transformer vandals were arraigned on a two count charge of “malicious damage and stealing” and pleaded guilty to the charges at the Benin Magistrate Court before Justice N, B, Edogun.
In a related development, another vandal has been arrested for vandalizing BEDC substation in Ugbalo in Esan Central LGA, of the state. The police are still investigating the case.
It will be recalled that the activities of vandals on electricity distribution network has been a major act negatively affecting power service delivery to customers, a consideration that made BEDC to recently partner with a security agency; Operation Thunderstorm in Benin; a Nigerian army outfit set up in support of civil authorities to maintain law and order in Edo State.
The two vandals caught in the act by members of Idahagbon community were sentenced to six months of imprisonment after arraignment on a two count charge of “malicious damage and stealing” at Oredo Magistrate Court before Chief Magistrate I.U Iyoha.
Speaking as a panelist during the Safety Day celebration marked at Oba Akenzua Hall, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin recently, Nweke listed some key responsibilities any organization owes its workers in promoting a safe working environment.
This he said were; providing a safe working environment for the workers, the needed tools and equipment to carry out the job safely, ensuring actions are taken to correct cases of hazardous conditions, making available the safety policy to workers and enforcing compliance with the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Consultant Pediatric Ophthalmologist, UBTH Dr. Valentina Okeigbemen, stressed the need to focus on the young worker because “our youth are our future generation and what affects our youth, affects our generations.”
Okeigbemen stated that, the way forward was to create an ideal work environment- with safety measures in place, well designed work stations; adequately ventilated, appropriate lighting, provide safety gears for those working with dangerous machinery and proper tools for the job, give training on safety, safe work practices, work place hazards in the language they understand, teach safety and health skills and age appropriate tasks-adding, “giving a drilling job to an individual below 18 years is not acceptable.”
The Director, World Safety Organization (WSO, Nigeria), Soji Olalokun, in his opening speech said:” As an international professional health, safety, security and environment organization established to help assure healthy and safe working conditions for agencies, organizations, individuals and the general public as well as provide training , education, research and information related to the field of occupational , environmental, safety, the World Safety Organization has keyed into this annual event as a way of promoting the objective of making safety a way of life worldwide.”