By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Management of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), on Thursday said it has secured the conviction of eight electricity vandals and other criminal offenses in May.
Mrs Angela Olanrewaju, Head, Branding and Corporate Communications Strategy of the company said in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos on the ongoing war against energy thieves and electricity vandals.
Olanrewaju said that the company had observed that equipment vandalism and staff assault were major challenges affecting its operations which had made to loss of millions of naira.
She said that the conviction of the eight people found guilty in various courts was to curb those infractions against IBEDC’s business.
Olanrenwaju also said that the company had actively prosecuted criminal activities that hampered effective delivery of service to its customers.
She said that that Oloyede Yinusa, 30, and Simeon James, 26, were sentenced to three and four year’s imprisonment respectively for cable vandal by Chief Magistrates’ Court, Ilaro, Ogun State.
The Ibadan Disco spokesperson said that the other vandals who were jailed for six months, having pleaded guilty were Akeem Afeez, 19, Yakubu Basiru, 23, Usman Lasisi, 20, Wale Wemimo, 28 and Sunday Samuel, 34.
According to her, Musibau Abubakar, 23, was also jailed to have vandalised cables belonging to IBEDC around Sukuru-Akinsawe area, Ibadan at the Magistrate Court Sitting at Ejioku, Ibadan.
“The accused person was summarily tried having pleaded guilty to all the count charge and was consequently sentenced to one month Imprisonment.
“One of the accused, Jamiu Aliu, 23, was charged for trespass and attempted vandalism at the area court, center Igboro, Ilorin, following his apprehension by Opomalu Community while attempting to vandalise the transformer attached to the community.
The accused, however, pleaded guilty to all the count charge and was consequently sentenced to one-year imprisonment, while Josephine Okpokpor, 68, was sanctioned to 21 days community service for assaulting IBEDC workers on duty.
Olanrewaju said that IBEDC also secured judgment at the Kwara State High Court in the sum of N500,000 as damages, among other declarations, in favour of its staff, Abdulsalam Bolaji who was viciously assaulted by one Col. Taofiq Adesina.
She said that the conviction of the eight accused persons was a testimony to the seriousness with which the company had been pursuing its crusade against vandalism.
According to her, more similar cases are pending in various courts, adding that more convictions would still be secured in the year.
She said that would serve as a deterrent to criminal-minded people who might be considering going into the illicit act of vandalism and theft of electricity equipment.
Olanrewaju sought the co-operation of members of the public, for the company’s effort to stamp out vandalism.
She added that the fight was not IBEDC alone, saying “the fight was for all patriotic Nigerians and lovers of development who will not want to allow few criminally minded lot in the society to destroy what is meant for all of us.”