By Onozure Dania
A Lagos-based lawyer, Tope Alabi, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to probe and if found culpable, prosecute Ikeja Electric Plc officials over alleged deliberate illegal disconnection and incorrect billing.
Alabi said despite having a pre-paid meter since February 2021 and not being indebted to Ikeja Electric, he was wrongfully billed N466,484.56 as cumulative bills from March till November 2021.
He said notwithstanding following all procedures and involving the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Ikeja Electric denied him access to buy electricity units.
This, he explained, had cut off electricity to his law firm at Ikeja for months, resulting in his spending N6,000 daily to fuel his generating set for the chambers.
He stated that it was to avoid such irregular billing that he secured the prepaid meter.
Alabi, in his January 5, 2022 letter to the agency, requested a probe of Ikeja Electric Plc systems “that roll out automatic charges” whether consumed or not; “Ikeja Electric books of accounts” containing records of charges collected from customers; and “Ikeja Electric Plc mode of operations” among others.
Alabi said: “The property belonged to late Afolabi Mohammed. There was an old meter with account no. 0100347913, which served the office between January 2018 and February 9, 2021, when a prepaid meter I applied for was installed and I commenced use of the prepaid meter on February 10, 2021 until the credit on it exhausted on March 11, 2021.
“I could not recharge anymore. I started using my generators from March 11, 2021 till on October 23, 2021, when I was able to load the credit I bought in May 2021. Before and after the credit finished on December 16, 2021, I approached Ikeja Electric Pic to purchase more credit.
“The officers/workers of Ikeja Electric Pic denied me access to buy credit on ground that I am indebted to Ikeja Electric Plc as follows:
April 2021 charges N127,703.76; N9,851.45 from March 2021 to November 2021 totaling: N88,663.05; unexplained charges of N250,117.75; totalling N466,484.56.
“Meanwhile, I cleared all outstanding bills of the sum of N116,000 on the old meter on March 2, 2021.
“I am not indebted to Ikeja Electric Plc. The only thing the staff told me was that, it is automatic charges by their system and not only me alone but as many under their coverage. I wrote series of letters to Ikeja Electric Plc for explanations. My letters were all ignored.