17th May, 2010
A Power Holding Company of Nigeria staff whose name was simply given as Tony, attached to the PHCN office in Okpoma, Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State has been electrocuted.
Tony and another staff, M.D. Okorode, were said to have been contacted to rectify broken insulators by General Anthony Ukpo, former military administrator of Rivers State, who is carrying out the renovation of his motherâ€™s house.
â€œHe engaged Okorode who is the head of the PHCN unit in Okpoma and paid him N70,000 to work on the broken insulators. Mr. Okorode did not remit the money to Ogoja which is the unit head of the Okpoma substation, but asked Tony, a maintenance staff to work on the insulators,â€ Mr. Nda Anthony, a friend of Tony told P.M.NEWS in Okpoma.
He said while they were working on the insulators, Mr. Okorode suddenly left to watch the match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Oba, a kilometre away. â€œThe man was drinking and watching the match when Yahe, the substation which he had earlier asked to interrupt power supply to allow him work on some insulators in Okpoma called him on the walkieâ€“talkie to ask if the work was over so that they could restore power and Mr. Okorode said they were through. Meanwhile, Tony was still on top of the pole and when power came, he was instantly electrocuted,â€ he explained.
The body, he said, was left hanging for several hours, until it was removed from the pole. Instead of reporting the incident to the Ogoja unit, Mr. Okorode reportedly went home to sleep.
When contacted, Engineer Hassan Soda, the Marketing Manager of the Ogoja PHCN station said: â€œThe report is with the police, when they are through, we shall tell you more, but for now there is nothing to tell you more than what you have heard.â€
He said the whereabouts of Mr. Okorode was unknown. â€œHe called me yesterday that some people are trying to lynch him, but I told him to see the police because they need him to get information to write their report,â€ Engineer Soba said
At the Okpoma Divisional Police Station, the DPO said the report was yet to be compiled.
The body of the victim has been deposited in the mortuary at the General Hospital, Ogoja, it was learnt.