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14 Nov 2017

Controversy as Electricity Firm Staff is Battered for Allegedly 'Disconnecting' Ex-IG of Police's Property

A staff of the Eko Electricity Distribution Company has been brutalized by a police sergeant, after the young man disconnected a house reportedly owned by a former Inspector-General of Police in Lagos.
Dele Ogundele
Controversy has continued to trail the alleged brutalization of a staff of the Eko Electricity Distribution Company and the Police in Lagos, as the management of the company have vowed to fight the matter until justice was done to the case, DailyTrust reports.

A staff of the company, Dele Ogundele, was brutalized by a police sergeant, Attah Aninoko, attached to a house reportedly owned by a former Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, located at Oniru Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.

While, the Police in Lagos had maintained that the matter was a minor disagreement between the policeman and the staff of the company, the company alleged that the victim, Ogundele, was actually dragged down from a pole in front of the former IGP’s residence by the sergeant while performing his lawful duty.

The Head, Corporate Communications of the company, Godwin Idemudia, said that management had officially written to the office of the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, demanding for a thorough probe into the matter. He stressed that attack on staff of the company by uniform men was becoming one too many.

According to him, defaulters in payment of electricity bills are usually those who live in highbrow areas and whose houses are guarded by heavily armed security men.

He explained that on October 19, 2017, the war against electricity theft by Eko Electricity Distribution Company yielded fruits when the company’s anti-energy theft crew uncovered another theft at Yomi Estate, Ajah Lagos, under the Ibeju Business District.

Idemudia said that just like those who reside at the former Inspector-General of Police home, the occupants of the 60-flats estate had pretended not to be connected to the company’s electricity supply network.

He said the estate was however drawing supply through an underground cable that was connected to a service point in an unoccupied one-storey building opposite the estate.

According him, the special anti-energy theft crew swung into action after a tip-off from a whistle blower who informed the company’s officials on the energy theft in the estate.

On the alleged brutalization of the staff, Idemudia said that the team went on a revenue generating drive to recover “trapped” money.

He explained that the house of the former IGP was discovered to owe a bill of N154, 693.85 stressing that the name on the bill was one Yusuf.

He said, “What we do is that anytime customers don’t respond and pay their bills, we go out with copies of their bills. When we get to their houses, we tell them what they owe and ask if they had made any payment in the last 24 hours. If they can’t produce any evidence of such, we disconnect their electricity.

“That was what we did in this case. We had two of our vehicles working in the area on that day. On getting to the house around 12noon, a man came out and we asked for evidence of payment because we discovered that the house owed over N154, 000. When he couldn’t produce it, we said we would disconnect the power. The man flared up.

“The mobile policeman came out and while our official was disconnecting the power from the pole, he ordered him to come down. In fact, he dragged the official down and beat him up. In the process, the official sustained a fractured limb,” he added

But the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Olarinde Famous-Cole, dismissed the claim of the company, saying that the staff did not sustain any broken limb.

Though, he said that the matter was being investigated, it was a minor infraction between the staff and the policeman in question.

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