By CrossRiverWatch Admin
In its determined effort to fight energy theft to a stand- still in the network, the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Plc has accosted seven suspected energy thieves who are in the habit of extending the network illegally. The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) were alerted by the officials of PHED who arrested them and paraded before the press and members of the public at their Headquarters in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
The seven suspects whose names were given as Michael Madu, Imowo Michael, Kufre Nse Inyang, Nsikak Christopher, Goodness John Okon, Daniel Bassey Effiong and Etim Udo Akpan were caught by the prying eyes of the task force team stationed at the Calabar office of PHED at Feeder 9, Off Edim Otop, Calabar carrying out unauthorized relocation of high tension poles.
The suspects have allegedly obtained an illegal outage earlier from transmission station on the high tension lines with the aim of extending the network illegally before luck ran out of them.
On sighting the PHED task force team, the lead contactor took to his heels leaving others behind. However, electrical materials such as high tension ladders, hand gloves, aluminum conductors, reflective jackets, cables, among others were recovered from them. Kufre Nse Inyang one of the suspects has since confessed to the act.
According to Mr. John Onyi, Manager Corporate Communications upon assumption of office in January 2020, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Plc, Dr. Henry Ajagbawa vowed to stamp out corruption, energy theft and other illegalities in the system through the establishment of mystery shoppers.
Dr. Ajagbawa warned those in the habit of engaging in such atrocities to desist from them or they would have themselves to blame as he would ensure that they would be prosecuted in addition to paying for the energy loss. This, undauntedly paid off recently leading to the arrests of both staff and some customers who have been found culpable.
“If any staff has engaged or aided in energy theft prior to my assumption of office, you have been absolved as long you turn a new leaf but going forward, if you don’t embrace change and you are caught, you would be arrested, prosecuted, paraded and made to pay for the value of energy diverted’’, he quoted Dr. Ajagbawa.
In the last two months, PHED has caused the arrest of five persons on unauthorized access to electricity and illegal reconnection.
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