From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and the Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO) indicated interest on an out-of-court settlement over a protest against the company’s alleged defective services to the electricity consumers in the state.
The Electricity Distribution Company had filed a case against the former Coordinator General of EDOCSO, Omobude Agho, and two other civil society actors for expressing their fundamental human rights opposing purported poor electricity services and exorbitant billings.
The claimant approached the court to seek an injunction restraining the defendants from further protests that may lead to entering, sealing or taking over the company’s premises.
At the resumption of hearing on the suit in a Benin High Court, Benin City, Counsel to BEDC PA Akhatsokhe said negotiations are in place to settle out of court.
‘We are discussing settlements. We hold the court and our client a duty that when matters are in court we should endeavour to see how it can be settled out of court.
‘The rules of court support that. It is against that backdrop that counsel in the matter has been talking to their clients.
‘We came here to inform the court what we have been doing outside the court. We have made the proposal for settlement.’
Reacting, counsel to EDOCSO Leonard Osa-Uwagie said they will study the terms before making a decision.
Osa-Uwagie who represented the lead counsel, Osagie Obayuwana said, ‘We were served proposed terms of settlement. We will look at it. If it works for our client, then we will go ahead but if it doesn’t, we will make our own request by way of a counter term”.
Consequently, the presiding judge, Justice Victor OA Oviawe adjourned to February 19, 2021, for report of settlement.