Police nab three electricity cable vandals
• Mafoluku residents accuse firm of outrageous billing, disconnection
Three persons have been arraigned before a magistrate court sitting in Ogba, Lagos State for attempting to vandalise an Ikeja Electric’s 500KV transformer at Orisunbare, Ayobo area of Lagos.
The suspected vandals were apprehended on May 23 by the vigilance groups of Orisunbare Community Ayobo and handed over to the police. They were arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit felony, attempt to steal and vandalise distribution transformer cables and unlawful possession of dangerous tools.
The accused persons were consequently remanded in Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, pending when the case will come up in June 19 for mention. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ayobo Police Station, Chief Superintendent Anyanwu Kingsley, commended efforts of the community in apprehending the suspects, noting that the support of the vigilance groups has helped in curbing crimes in the communities.
Lamenting the rise of vandalism, Head, Corporate Communications, Ikeja Electric, Felix Ofulue, said the company had suffered over 30 attacks on transformer sub-stations within the last four months, particularly in Igando, Ikotun, Akowonjo, Oshodi and Ayobo.
Meanwhile, the Mafoluku Electricity Consumers’ Forum has written a letter of complaint to Ikeja Electric, alleging epileptic power supply, falling electricity poles, outrageous electricity bills, unfulfilled promises to install pre-paid meters, disconnection without regard to due process and use of armed men to compel customers to pay estimated bills.
In a letter, a copy of which was sent to The Guardian, which was signed Lawal Ekundayo and Keku Olugbenga, chairman and secretary of the group respectively, they said in order to avoid the incident leading to the electrocution of football fans in Calabar, they are calling on the firm to as a matter of urgency respond to the community’s complaints of faulty equipment, falling poles and dangerously low cables.
“The strange thing is that their officials still manage to climb the poles any time they want to disconnect electricity without attending to the faults. Also, several streets such as Raimi Olowora, Ishola Imam, Eweje, Samuel and Olaiya were forcefully disconnected using policemen from Makinde police station on December 11, 2016 because residents challenged their estimated bills and illegal disconnection,” they wrote.