By Onozure Dania
Lagos—A N50 million suit has been filed against the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC and Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, over exorbitant estimated bills and refusal to provide pre-paid meters by the distribution company.
Plaintiffs in the matter are Raji Olatunji, Omololu Sulaiman, Muritala Aloba, Tawakalitu Onisemo, Mogaji Suaibu, Oyelade Kolawole and Solomon for themselves and on behalf of the members of Landlords and Tenants of Alaba Oro, Mosafejo Amukoko, Abule Kere and Olaniyonu Community.
The claimants are contending in the suit that the failure of the EKEDC to provide pre-paid meters, to members of their communities and the billing by estimation system adopted by EKEDC, their communities were not charged appropriately to determine their consumption and hence the billing was arbitrary.
The claimants also contended that EKEDC had continued to bill their communities by estimation system, which is excessive and not commensurate with electricity supplied and consumed by consumers.
Amongst other claims, the communities insisted that EKEDC deliberately and persistently refused to issue and deliver prepaid meters despite series of complaint, protest by the claimants while the extortionist arrangement continued against the claimants.
The communities informed the court that the EKEDC imposes reconnection fee against any consumer who fails to pay within the month of billing and whose electricity supply is disconnected from the main source of electricity supply.
It was also the argument of the claimants that it on several occasions, they made both oral and written complaint to EKEDC Head Office and of which was acknowledged.
The communities are therefore, praying for an order directing EKEDC to distribute pre-paid meter to all the members.
They also want an order of perpetual injunction restraining the 2nd defendant from issuing bills to any consumer in the communities without prepaid meter.
They equally want the court to direct NERC to withdraw the provisional licenses issued to EKEDC to distribute electricity to the community and provide alternative company in replacement.