Mpape Grade 1 Area Court, Abuja, on Wednesday fixed Oct.2 for trial of three men: Shedrack Francis, Richard Osita, and David Asuquo, docked for alleged electricity energy theft from Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).
When the case was called up, the defendants’ counsel, Eugene Aghaebe, told the court that he had just been briefed about the case.
The counsel also said he had not been served any document that he intended to rely on in the case and requested for a short adjournment.
The prosecution counsel, Mbukwen Augustine, however, made an oral application for award of N5,000 cost.
He said that the defence had wasted the time of the court and the two witnesses he intended to call to testify.
The judge, Hassan Muh’d said that he would adjourn the matter for the interest of justice, since the counsel was just briefed.
Muh’d also ordered that the prosecution counsel serve the defence counsel with the proof of evidence before the next adjourned date.
The judge, however, declined to award any cost.
He adjourned the case until Oct.2, for hearing.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the defendants were arraigned on Aug. 20, on a two- count charge bordering on joint act and theft.
The prosecution alleged that on Aug.18, one Augustine Ubani, staff of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Apo Regional Office, reported the matter at the Mabushi Police Station.
Augustine said on the same day, while the complainant was on patrol to monitor the company’s network, he discovered that the defendants had tapped electricity current directly from AEDC network to their houses.
He said that they were consuming electricity without authorisation.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail in the sum of N200,000 each, with a surety each in like sum.
The offences contravened the provisions of Sections 97 and 286 (2) of the Penal Code.