Vandalism, staff assaults jolt electricity firms

Electricity distribution companies in Lagos State have been badly hit by the spate of vandalism and assault of staff while on official duty in recent times.

While the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) has condemned the incessant attacks against its staff, the Ikeja Electric disclosed that some vandals have been jailed for stealing electricity cables.
The General Manager, Corporate Communications, EKEDC, Godwin Idemudia, described the attack on its staff as barbaric.
Idemudia said that the electricity company would not hesitate to apply the full weight of the law in dealing with erring customers and members of the public that take the law into their hands through assaults on its staff and officials.
He reiterated that EKEDC would continue to employ a cordial process of engagement with its customers and stakeholders to continue to find amicable ways of complaints resolutions as it affects communities and customers.
He said: “While we understand that sentiments regarding utility services can be quite emotive, we maintain that wanton attacks on our staff are completely irrational, irresponsible, and unproductive, especially where EKEDC has provided multiple channels through which customers can lodge formal complaints with respect to our services.
“We have videos of our staff being chased with a pole in an incident that led to multiple injuries, nothing justifies this action, as it is barbaric.”
According to him, where these attacks persist, EKEDC in line with her obligation to provide service under a conducive atmosphere to its customers, will as a matter of course, continue to escalate such matters to law enforcement agencies.
“We wish to therefore urge all stakeholders, community leaders, leaders of youth groups, and all persons of interest to remain mindful of these matters and adopt a more civil approach to engagements as all parties are deserving of reciprocal respect and regard as espoused by all laws,” he said.

Also, the Acting Head of Corporate Communications, Ikeja Electric, Kingsley Okotie, said that increase in the rate of vandalisation of its electricity installations has become worrisome to the distribution company.
He said that vandalism affects not just the distribution company, but also customers, as everyone is thrown into darkness over long periods until the assets are replaced.
He, therefore, called on all stakeholders to collaborate to curb the ugly trend, while encouraging Community Development Associations (CDAs) to make use of vigilantes in addition to other security agencies and safeguard electrical equipment in their neighborhood.
He said that Omena Sunday, 24 years and Bashir Sheu aged 28 years were arraigned before the Magistrate Court 1, sitting at Ogba Magistrate Court on the 11th of January 2023 and Ifo Magistrate Court 2, Ifo Local Council in Ogun State on 27 September, 2022 for vandalism and stealing transformer cables at Five Star Junction Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos and Otun Olori Akute area of Ogun State respectively.
Omena having pleaded guilty of Count 1, 2 and 3 of the four charges, he was sentenced to six months imprisonment for Count 1, one year imprisonment for Count 2 and 3 of the charges accordingly, which would run concurrently for one year with hard labour without option of fine, to serve as a deterrence to others who may want to indulge in such criminal acts.
Also, Bashir Sheu aged 28 and others at large were arrested and arraigned before Ifo Magistrate Court 2, Ifo Local Council in Ogun State on 27 September 2022. The Defendant was charged on a two-count charge on conspiracy and stealing Ikeja Electric’s transformer cables thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 390 (90) of the criminal code volume 1 Law of Ogun State. 2006.


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