2 jailed, 4 arrested for vandalizing EEDC property

2 jailed, 4 arrested for vandalizing EEDC property

Two persons have been sentenced to one year imprisonment respectively for vandalizing a distribution substation belonging to the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC). 

Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr. Emeka Ezeh who disclosed this in a statement on Thursday, said they were convicted at the Federal High Court of Nigeria in the Awka Judicial Division holden at Awka, Anambra State.

According to Ezeh, the suspects, Chinonso Chinaemelu (27) and Okoye Chisom Christian (20) were arrested on November 29, 2023 by Abatete local vigilante group while attempting to vandalize the distribution substation within the locality.

“In the same week, a couple identified as Mr & Mrs Ebuka Umeh were arrested by some members of Isuorji community neighborhood security in Orlu, Imo State, when Ebuka’s wife was attempting to pick the vandalized items from a distribution substation belonging to EEDC with their motorcycle.  

“It was gathered that the couple attacked the substation for three days.

“In his confessional statement, Ebuka testified that the vandalized items were sold to scrap dealers. The suspects were handed over to Orlu Police Division for proper investigation while effort is on to arrest the scrap dealers.

“In a related development, a vandal suspect identified as Chukwuebuka Ezike who hails from Umunachi in Orsu Local Government Area, Imo State was arrested by Umuezinachi community neighborhood watch while he was cutting aluminum conductor around Orie Uguiri Market.

“At Amachi-Izhia, Ebonyi State, Amara Joseph Ajagbo was arrested by members of the Electricity Committee for vandalizing nine spans of aluminum conductors in their community, while two of his gang members escaped.

“The suspects have been handed over to the respective Police formations for proper investigation and possible prosecution.”

While decrying the spate of vandalism in the EEDC network, Eze identified the trend as a major challenge negatively impacting the smooth operations of the company.

According to him, between January 2022 to date the company has recorded over 170 cases of vandalism in its network, with about 135 suspected vandals arrested, out of which over 100 have been charged to court.

He stressed that the company will not relent in its resolve to prosecute these arrested suspects and go all out to fish out receivers of these vandalized items as they remain the motivation for the vandals.

Ezeh lamented that it has become difficult for the organization to fund the restoration of vandalized infrastructure, and that the development is affecting service delivery to customers.

“We commend the judiciary for the judgement, and hope that this will serve as a deterrent to many others out there, engaging in such criminal acts.”

Ezeh appreciated the various communities that have committed to joining hands with EEDC to contain activities of vandals and called on others to do the same because once these electricity infrastructures are attacked customers will be subjected to blackout for a while.  

“Customers are therefore advised to be vigilant and not allow these installations within their neighborhood to be vandalized, as they will be inconvenienced once this happens”, Ezeh urged.

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