Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc and Eko Electricity Distribution Company have condemned assaults by electricity consumers on their workers while carrying out their lawful duties.
The company said in a statement that its workers were recently attacked by a customer at Olukotun Area, Idi-Orogbo, Yawiri area in Ibadan.
It said the customer’s premises had earlier been disconnected in line with the regulation by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission for bypassing his prepaid meter and using electricity without paying.
The company accused the customer of “reconnecting his power supply without recourse to the IBEDC.”
It said, “On discovery of this illegality by an IBEDC staff member, the attempt to disconnect the customer was unsuccessful, as the customer became violent, attacking the IBEDC staff member who was still on the ladder, and pulled him down forcibly.”
The IBEDC stated that it would do everything within the ambit of the law to ensure the protection of its workers and property.
The company described vandalism as another major challenge affecting its operations, adding that it lost millions of naira to the menace.
It said, “To curb these infractions against its business, the IBEDC actively prosecutes any criminal activity that hampers effective delivery of service to its esteemed customers.
“To that end, it has secured eight convictions on vandalism, among which are the recently decided cases of C.O.P v. Oloyede Yinusa, C.O.P v. Haruna Idris and C.O.P v. Adewale Adekunle whose jail term ranged from one month to three years. The IBEDC also secured judgement at the Kwara State High Court in the sum of N500,000 as damages, among other declarations, in favour of its staff member, Abdulsalam Bolaji, who was viciously assaulted by one Col. Taofiq Adesina.”
The company appealed to community members within its franchise to work with it to curb “this growing spate of vandalism and other criminal activities within its network.”
EKEDC said its workers were attacked by some people who claimed to be protesting against poor state of power supply or billing errors in their communities.
The company said it was determined to put a stop to such acts through prosecution of perpetrators.
The General Manager, Corporate Communications, EKEDC, Mr. Godwin Idemudia, said a staff member of the company was severely beaten in Apapa District recently.
Idemudia said neither poor power supply nor billing error should be a plausible excuse for anybody to take the law into their own hands and unleash violence on workers.
According to him, the company only supplies power to its customers based on the bulk energy load it receives from the national grid.
He said, “This means that if the generation level is low nationwide, it will also affect power supply to electricity customers not only in Eko Disco’s operational territory, but also all electricity customers nationwide.”
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