Landlords petition governor over BEDC’s disconnection
Aggrieved landlords of Block VII, Phase V of the Core Area of Asaba, Delta State, have accused Mr. Edgar Ernest, the state’s head of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) of high handedness and violating the extant laws and directives of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
In a petition to the governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, the landlords specifically accused Ernest of using security operatives to intimidate and harass residents in the area while going about unlawfully disconnecting electricity consumers.
In the petition dated February 22, 2018 by the chairman of the landlord association, Mr. E.W. Ureki and secretary, Mr. E.C. Okoro, and titled: Imminent breakdown of law and order in Block VII, Core Area, Asaba, they noted that the residents have been pushed to the wall due to the incessant harassment and intimidation.
Ureki and Okoro recalled that on June 8, 2017, BEDC officials disconnected them from the Dublina Hotel transformer even when the subscribers were paying electricity bills regularly.
According to them persistent pleadings to reconnect the lines fell on deaf ears, hence they approached the Asaba NERC Forum to seek justice.The petition stated that in its ruling of November 14, 2017, the forum directed BEDC to reconnect the community within 48 hours of service of the ruling, and pay a penalty of N1,000 per day to each of the affected pre-paid metered customers. The copies of the ruling were served on BEDC on November 17 by the Asaba forum.
They wrote: “Instead of complying with the ruling, BEDC officials have been going about the area with truck load of armed security operatives to harass and intimidate residents on a regular basis.”Several attempts to reach the Public Relations Officers of the Asaba office of BEDC, Mrs. Esther Okolie, on her mobile phone proved futile as she refused to answer the calls.