EEDC Apprehends, Hands Over 8 Electricity Installation Vandals To Police In South East

The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) says it has apprehended and handed-over eight electricity installation vandals to police for further investigation and prosecution within South-East.

The Head of Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, told newsmen recently in Enugu that the feat was achieved with the support of customers and other critical stakeholders across its franchise area in the South-East.

Ezeh said that within the last quarter of this year, “there is no day the company does not record an average of three transformers attacked across its franchise areas”, most of which have their oil drained.

According to him, the company is seriously disturbed at the latest turn of events where vandals now resort to draining transformer oil, thereby subjecting the transformer to risk of blowing up once supply is restored.

“Before now, vandals have been carting away armored cables and bare conductors, but recently, we record more cases of drained transformer oil which poses greater danger to the transformer because it could get damaged when energised without any oil in it.

“Once vandalism happens, our customers are thrown into darkness, homes are affected, and businesses are affected too as losses are recounted amid the inconveniences that lack of electricity supply brings,” the EEDC spokesman said.

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He said that at Ndiagbo Ofeke Ishieke in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi, the vigilante group arrested Chinonso Mgbada, a native of Ugwuachara, also in same council area, along Ohatekwe Road, Ishieke, while vandalising aluminum conductors belonging to EEDC.

Ezeh noted that At Umuobia Olokoro, Umuahia, Abia; Onyebuchi Uchechi was arrested by the villagers for vandalising aluminum conductors in their community.

He said that the duo of Chiwendu Chukwuemeka and Azubuike Chinemere, were arrested by vigilante group at Onuinyan Village within Bende community in Bende Local Government Area of Abia, for vandalising aluminum conductors, property of EEDC.

Ezeh further recounted that a 24-year-old Okechi Chukwuebuka, a native of Aguleri in Anambra East Local Government Area, who resides at Umudim village, Nnewi, was arrested by vigilante group for vandalising a transformer located at Ozubulu community.

“Ikechukwu Okafor was arrested along with his shuttle bus with registration number TTK165XA, by Ndiogbuonyeoma Ndiuche Arondiuzuogu Okigwe Community Vigilante, for vandalizing their electricity power line.

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“While Okechukwu Okafor and Toochukwu Ike, were arrested by indigenes of Amuzam in Ugbuawka Community, Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State for vandalizing five spans of High Tension wires in their community,” he said.

Ezeh noted that the negative effects of vandalism do not only affect electricity consumers, “but also has its own toll on the distribution company, as huge sums are expended in restoring vandalised facilities while billions of naira is lost in revenue”.

According to him, just in this year alone, we have spent close to N300 million in the replacement and restoration of vandalised facilities, so as to ensure our customers are not left in darkness.

“Even as the number of unattended cases of vandalized electricity installations/facilities were on the rise with daily occurrences of vandalized facilities.

“We therefore appeal to our customers to be more vigilant and safeguard the electricity installations serving them to avoid some unscrupulous elements keeping them in darkness, especially as we are going into the yuletide

“Customers are encouraged to see themselves as part owners of the facilities, though they belong to EEDC, but they are there to serve them, and once they are vandalized, they remain out of supply until the issue is addressed,” he said.

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The EEDC spokesman appreciated the efforts of the community vigilante groups and other security agencies in curbing the menace of electricity installation vandalism in the South-East.

“We will not hesitate to encourage other neighbourhoods/areas to organise and set up a local security outfit that will help safeguard the facilities that serve them among other responsibilities,” he said.