From: Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
Six persons have been jailed for acts of sabotage ranging from illegal installation of Pre-Paid meter to vandalisation of various distribution substations belonging to the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).
Disclosing this in statement made available to newsmen in Awka, Head, Communications of EEDC, Emeka Ezeh, lamented that the company, in 2016, spent over N60 million to replace vandalized equipment at the various distribution substations and other installations which resulted in significant financial loss to the company.
Ezeh said that one of the convicts, Valentine Ikechukwu, was sentenced to three years imprisonment by Hon. Justice Bature Gafai of the Federal High Court 1, Awka, Anambra state on January 26, 2017, after he was found guilty on two count charge of tampering with EEDC installations and disturbing electricity flow contrary to provision of Section 1(9) of Miscellaneous Offences Act, LFN, 2004 and Electricity Power Sector Reform Act, 2005.
Ikechukwu, he said, was arrested at Onitsha by the Police for installing illegal and untested Pre-Paid Meters in EEDC network.
Also at the same court, two persons, Kingsley Mgbemena and Tochukwu Asomba were sentenced to three years imprisonment respectively on January 25, 2017 for tampering, damaging and disconnecting two intermediate armored cables belonging to EEDC.
Earlier, on December 1, 2016, Mr. Adamu Haruna, was sentenced to a one-year jail term by Magistrate Mrs. M.C. Nneji in Enugu for unlawful possession of High Tension aluminum cable belonging to EEDC.
Also, Emeka Stanley and Chinedu Elekwachi were sentenced to three years imprisonment respectively at the Federal High Court, Umuahia, Abia State on November 17, 2016, for vandalizing some installations belonging to EEDC at Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State.
Eze stated that the Management of EEDC has frowned at the increasing activities of such individuals who have been frustrating its efforts to provide quality service to its customers and expressed its commitment not to relent in the fight against vandals.
He further said, “Perpetrators of these nefarious acts are therefore advised to desist and customers are encouraged to join hands with EEDC to protect these installations that are provided to serve them.
“EEDC also commends the continued effort and support of vigilante groups and security agencies such as the Civil Defence Corps, the Army and the Nigerian Police towards ensuring that this ugly menace is addressed and perpetrators brought to book.”