A businessman, Jerry Okolo on Wednesday dragged the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), before an FCT High Court, Gudu, for alleged illegal billing.
Okolo, who instituted the suit against the defendant along with his landlord, Abimaje Ebute as co-claimant, is also demanding N10 million as general damages for the alleged illegal and unlawful actions of the defendant.
The claimants are also praying for N5 million as damages for inconveniences and losses incurred by them.
In addition, they are seeking the payment of N500,000 as the cost of prosecuting the suit.
When the matter which was slated for hearing before Justice Module Osho-Adebiyi came up, Okolo was called to give his evidence in chief.
He urged the court to adopt his written statement on oath and tendered some documents which were duly marked as exhibit by the court.
Some of the documents tendered were copies of monthly estimated electricity bill, purchases receipt of electricity token, and receipt of a reconnection fee.
The claimants’ counsel, Frank Nnaba thereafter proceeded to ask Okolo what he wanted the court to do for him.
He said he wanted the court to adopt the same as his statement on oath.
Cross-examination, however, could not go on as the defendant was not present in court and there was neither a legal representation.
The judge, therefore, adjourned the matter until Feb. 18 for the continuation of trial.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that in the last adjourned date of Nov. 12, 2020, the defendant counsel, Ifeanyi Aborgu, who had promised that the defendant was going to reach the claimants to resolve the issue, however, had not done so.
In the claimant’s statement of claim, it was alleged that the defendant had been sending an estimated electricity bill to the house located at FHA, Lugbe, Abuja since 2014, although the house was hardly occupied by any occupant since 2018 when Okolo was transferred out of Abuja.
According to the claim, Okolo said he wrote to the defendant that the estimated billing should be stopped and a pre-paid meter installed, but it was never done.
In addition, he alleged that although he comes to the house on a quarterly basis, the bill kept coming and he was charged N23,814.39 in one of the months he was away.
He said the electricity supply to the house was disconnected in Aug. 2019 after months of non-payment from him.
Okolo affirmed in the claim that he paid the sum of N5,000 as a reconnection fee and on Dec. 24, 2019, a pre-paid meter was finally installed.
He added that by then, the defendant said he was indebted to them to the sum of N171,000.00 which was the accumulated bills for the period he was disconnected from the electricity supply.
Okolo said in furtherance to the alleged indebtedness, every time he made purchases of electricity token from the defendant, 60 percent of the amount is deducted by way of payment for the alleged N171,000 debt
He said it was this continual deduction that necessitated the suit and damages he incurred when his things got destroyed due to the disconnection while he was away.