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Mother, daughter arraigned for energy theft

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Two residents of Fatokun Street, in Abule Taylor, off Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Lagos, have been arraigned before an Ogba Magistrates’ Court for energy theft under the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company network.

The duo of Latefat Shofidiya, aged 65 and Ekundayo Taiwo, aged 40, were nabbed after initially absconding from their residence for stealing power supply by illegally tapping from a source and passing it underground for more than 100 meters into their home.

A few weeks ago, a video had gone viral showing some workers of the company uprooting a long cable hidden under the ground. They were arraigned before Magistrate Ogunsanmi of Ogba Magistrates’ Court 2 on a three-count charge bothering on conspiracy to commit felony punishable under Section 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, unlawful tampering with the private property of the distribution company, punishable under Section 340 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, and unlawful underground connection of electricity, punishable under Section 52 of the Lagos State Electric Power Sector Reform Law, 2018.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail in the sum of N200,000 and two sureties in the like sum. They were consequently remanded pending the perfection of their bail conditions. The case was adjourned till August 12 for hearing.

Commenting on the issue, the company’s Head of Corporate Communications, Felix Ofulue, said energy theft is a major challenge of the power sector.
According to him, “apart from the illegality and negative impact of the activity on the bills of neighbours, it is also a major safety threat. That is why we deploy legal means to address the anomaly.”

He advised customers to desist from acts that are inimical to the progress of the sector and habits that could hamper excellent service delivery. He also commended the security agencies for providing dependable support and for the role they play in protecting power infrastructure against theft and vandalism.


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