By Ediri Ejoh
Two persons who were paraded by the Nigerian Service Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), last month, for vandalizing electricity distribution transformers belonging to Ikeja Electric Plc have been sentenced to 2 years imprisonment with hard labour.
Mayowa Adedoyin and Yemi Aina, both male, who were convicted on a two count charge were arraigned at the Federal High Court in Lagos, before Honourable Justice Abdulaziz Anka, where they both pleaded guilty as charged and were sentenced to spend the next two years in Kirikiri Prisons.
Both men were accused of conspiring among themselves with others at large, to commit a felony, to wit, unlawfully disconnect, remove, damage and tamper with Ikeja Electric core cable in Oshodi, Lagos State on August 11, 2017; with the intention of stealing same, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 1(9) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Speaking on the judgement, the Head of Corporate Communications, Ikeja Electric Plc, Felix Ofulue, expressed hope that it will serve as a deterrent, while commending the security agencies for rising up to the occasion. He also maintained that the company will continue to prosecute vandals and all other perpetrators of criminality within its network, as prescribed by law.
In his words: “One of the biggest challenge facing the Electricity Sector is vandalism and theft of electricity equipment. Added to these are other issues like energy theft through meter bypass and illegal connections as well as violence against our staff in some communities. All these illegal activities jeopardize our efforts to provide adequate and seamless electricity supply to our responsible paying customers”.
“However, we are tackling these challenges one after the other, with the support of our security agencies and the Judiciary, and gradually, we are confident that we will surmount the problems”, he added.
Ofulue noted that the spate of vandalism in IE network is becoming alarming, as over fifty transformers were recently vandalized in the network especially in Oshodi Business Unit areas of the company. He further appealed to residents and communities to assist the company to monitor the electrical equipment in their areas and avoid the use of quacks and un-authorized personnel to carry out repairs, illegal connections and reconnections.