Four Arrested, Two Jailed For Vandalising Enugu DisCo substation

Four Arrested, Two Jailed For Vandalising Enugu DisCo substation

A Federal High Court sitting in Awka, the Anambra State capital, has sentenced 27-year-old Chinonso Chinaemelu and 20-year-old Okoye Christian to one-year imprisonment respectively for vandalising a distribution substation belonging to the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc.

This development was made known by the Head of Corporate Communications, EEDC, Emeka Ezeh, in a statement on Thursday.

Ezeh said the duo were arrested on November 29, 2023, by the Abatete local vigilante group while attempting to vandalise the distribution substation within the locality.

He also confirmed that in the same week, a couple identified as Mr and Mrs Ebuka Umeh were arrested by members of Isuorji community neighbourhood security in Orlu, Imo State.

According to him, the couple was arrested when the wife was attempting to pick up the vandalised items from a distribution substation belonging to EEDC with their motorcycle, adding that the couple attacked the substation for three days.

“In their confessional statement, they testified that the vandalised 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,” the statement said.

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

“At Amachi-Izhia, Ebonyi State, Amara Joseph Ajagbo was arrested by members of the Electricity Committee for vandalising nine spans of aluminium 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.”

The DisCo’s spokesperson lamented the spate of vandalism in the EEDC network, stating that it is a major challenge negatively impacting the smooth operations of the company.

According to him, between January 2022 and now, the company 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 would not relent in its resolve to prosecute these arrested suspects and go all out to fish out receivers of these vandalised items as they remain the motivation for the vandals.

He lamented that it has become difficult for the organisation to fund the restoration of vandalised infrastructure and that the development is affecting service delivery to customers.

He appreciated the various communities that have committed to joining hands with the 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.

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

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

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