Bereaved families, victims drag AEDC to court over fatal explosion
The FCT High Court has been urged to order the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) Plc to pay adequate compensation to victims of the company’s 750 KVA transformer explosion in Lugbe.
The Registered Trustees of Downtrodden Peoples Employment Foundation Worldwide, Messrs Stephen Gbaera, Ijeoma Onwuannum, Omowumi Adams, Olagoke Ajewole and Oyewole Pelumi, are the plaintiffs.
The plea is contained in a writ of summons filed on Aug. 11 by the plaintiffs’ counsel, Mr Hassan Omolowo, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
The other defendants listed in the suit are Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, Rural Electrification Agency, Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission and the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency.
The rest are Consumer Protection Council, Minister of Power as well as the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).The suit had listed Olelewe James, Moses Joseph and Ayiyeli Justina, a mother of three, as those who died from electrocution caused by the explosion.According to the process, Stephen Gbaera, Ijeoma Onwuannum, Omowumi Adams, Olagoke Ajewole Oyewole Pelumi, Kayode Akindele, Pius Moses, Peter Destiny and Donald Terlumun suffered degrees of injuries from the explosion.
They had asked for special damages for families of the victims and surviving victims and those who lost property in accordance with the traditions of the Nigerian Electricity Sector Industry and International best practices.
They further urged the Court to use its discretion for payment of general damages for the alleged patent gross act of negligence by the first defendant.According to them, the Court should also compel the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth defendants to pay general damages for their alleged dereliction of regulation oversight.
The plaintiffs had also sought a declaration that the explosion of the transformer installed at the Angwan Tiv within Tudun Wada village, Lugbe, on July 2 led to the death and injuries of the listed victims.
They further prayed the Court to hold that the incident also led to the loss of property by residents of the village.Besides, the plaintiffs urged the Court to declare that the explosion came as an act of negligence by the first defendant as it failed to respond to several entreaties for the upgrade of the electricity network.
They also sought the Court to declare that the incident reflected the general poor and low standards of electricity equipment operated by the first, second and third defendants.
They prayed the Court to further declare that the first, second and third defendants had neither deployed nor adequately invested in the provision of technically safe electrical equipment in accordance with their operating licences.
They had also sought for a declaration that the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth defendants did not take adequate and practical regulatory steps to ensure the safe, standard and efficient distribution of electricity in the Country.
The plaintiffs, therefore, prayed for an order compelling the first, second and third defendants to ensure their electrical facilities and customers against varied industrial hazards and mishaps in line with industrial Safety Code, among others.