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Boy electrocuted, abandoned in mortuary over compensation tussle


[FILE PHOTO] : Electrical wires.

Exactly 36 days after the tragic death of 10-year-old Ifeanyi Obulu, who was electrocuted in his neighborhood at 44, Free-Town Street, Sabon-Gari, Kano State, his lifeless body is still in the mortuary.

Obulu met his untimely death on September 23, when he stepped on an exposed cable in their compound while running an errand for his mother, who sells bean-cake outside.

He was found stiff by his mother in their one room apartment when he could not respond to several calls.

She discovered too late that every object around him was electrified. The young Ifeanyi was eventually retrieved and rushed to a medical facility where he was confirmed dead of electrocution.

The Guardian learnt that hours before the incident, a worker of Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) was at the residence on a routine operation. The KEDCO worker disconnected a power source and left the exposed cable hanging on the roof after an unresolved argument over payment of electricity bill.

The dispute has now transcended electricity bills as unresolved talks over compensation is keeping the deceased in the mortuary. While the family and community insist KEDCO must pay compensation for what they consider negligence on the part of its employee, KEDCO is yet to assume responsibility for the tragedy.

The deceased father, Mr. Sunday Obulu, was not available when The Guardian visited but the boy’s mother expressed worried over the continuous stay of her only son in the mortuary.

She said: “We are still waiting to hear from KEDCO. I want my son buried so that I will have rest of mind. As you see me here, I am passing through pains everyday since that boy died. I can’t even sleep properly because every time I sleep, it is the boy that readily comes into my mind and I keep dreaming about him. Since the last time KEDCO officials and some people came from Abuja, they ask us to wait because they want to carry out investigation, we are yet to hear from them.”

The spokesperson of KEDCO, Mohammad Kandi, however, told The Guardian that KEDCO could not take any action on the matter since the regulatory agency, Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), is already investigating the case.

Though Kandi insisted KEDCO was not taking responsibility for the casualty yet, he said the release of N250,000 to the deceased family was only meant to assist the bereaved family and not part of any predetermined compensation as being speculated.

When contacted on telephone, the spokesperson of NERC, Dr. Usman Abba, who was not specific on when the outcome of the investigation would be unveiled, said: “Investigation by the technical committee looking into the matter is concluded and the report submitted to the management. We are working on it and when the report is ready it will be made public.”

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Ifeanyi ObuluKano
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