EEDC Property Vandals Sentenced: 4 in Custody

Suspects, and Convicted EEDC Vandals

In a landmark decision last week at the Federal High Court of Nigeria in Awka, Anambra State, two individuals have been convicted for their involvement in the vandalization of property belonging to the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC).

Chinonso Chinaemelu, aged 27, and Okoye Chisom Christian, aged 20, have been sentenced to one year imprisonment each for their roles in the criminal act.

This significant development was disclosed by Mr. Emeka Ezeh, the Head of Corporate Communications at EEDC, in a statement released on Thursday. According to Ezeh, the convicted individuals were apprehended on November 29, 2023, by a local vigilante group in Abatete while attempting to vandalize a distribution substation within the community.

Additionally, Mr. & Mrs. Ebuka Umeh were arrested by members of the Isuorji community neighborhood security in Orlu, Imo State, after Mrs. Umeh was caught trying to retrieve vandalized items from an EEDC distribution substation using their motorcycle.

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The couple reportedly launched multiple attacks on the substation over a span of three days. Mr. Ebuka Umeh confessed to selling the stolen items to scrap dealers. The suspects have since been handed over to the Orlu Police Division for further investigation, with efforts underway to apprehend the scrap dealers involved.

In a separate incident, Chukwuebuka Ezike, a suspect from Umunachi in Orsu Local Government Area, Imo State, was apprehended by the Umuezinachi community neighborhood watch while attempting to cut aluminum conductor cables around Orie Uguiri Market.

Furthermore, in 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, although two of his accomplices managed to escape.

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These suspects have all been handed over to the respective police authorities for thorough investigation and possible prosecution.

Expressing concern over the rampant vandalism, Mr. Ezeh emphasized that such activities pose a significant challenge to the smooth operations of EEDC.

He revealed that the company has recorded over 170 cases of vandalism in its network since January 2022, resulting in the arrest of approximately 135 suspects, with over 100 already facing charges in court.

Mr. Ezeh underscored EEDC’s commitment to prosecuting arrested suspects and apprehending the receivers of vandalized items, whom he identified as the primary motivation behind such criminal acts.

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He highlighted the financial strain caused by the need to restore vandalized infrastructure, which ultimately impacts service delivery to customers.

Commending the judiciary for its decisive action, Mr. Ezeh expressed hope that the conviction would serve as a deterrent to others involved in similar criminal activities

. He also extended gratitude to communities collaborating with EEDC to combat vandalism and urged others to join the effort, emphasizing the inconvenience caused to customers by disruptions in electricity supply resulting from such acts of sabotage.

Customers were advised to remain vigilant and protect electrical installations within their neighborhoods from vandalism to avoid inconvenience caused by blackout incidents.

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