22nd September, 2022
By Stanley Nwanosike
The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has apprehended no fewer than eight suspected vandals for their alleged involvement in stealing electrical installations belonging to it.
The Head, Corporate Communications of EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, said in a statement on Thursday that the vandals were apprehended within one month in different states under its network in the South East.
Ezeh also attributed the service disruptions experienced in some parts of its network to activities of vandals; adding that the increasing rate of vandalism had adversely affected the company’s service delivery to its customers.
He, however, commended the support of critical stakeholders and the various vigilance groups in nipping this ugly trend in the bud, while he confirmed that most of the arrests were made by the vigilance groups.
According to him, this recent citizens’ arrest of vandals can be attributed to the consistent engagement with stakeholders on the need to ensure that the electrical installations sited within their neighbourhoods are protected.
“Over the weekend, a suspected vandal identified as Nonso Nwajonta was arrested in possession of aluminium conductors (cables), by the youth of Ulakwo Community in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo.
“Within the same period, with the assistance of security men attached to the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka; Ifeanyi Onwe and Anthony Oselebe were arrested for vandalising a substation belonging to the EEDC situated along Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, by Pioneer Students Hostel.
“Earlier in the month at Uzuakoli, Abia, the Ngwu relief distribution substation belonging to the EEDC was attacked by vandals, and the up-riser cable carted away.
“But with the intervention of Uzuakoli Vigilante Group, one of the vandals identified as Henry Nwachukwu was arrested, while three of his colleagues took to their heels. Efforts are being made by the police to arrest the fleeing suspects.
“At Eziafor in Abia, some members of a vigilance group arrested the duo of Kingsley Agwu and Ebere Uchendu, while vandalising a feeder panel, property of the EEDC,” he said.
The EEDC spokesman also recalled that late last month, Chukwuka Ogayi was arrested by the members of Umuoru Amaechi Community Electricity Committee in Ohaukwu Local Government Area, Ebonyi, while vandalising a distribution transformer belonging to the EEDC.
Ezeh said that items recovered from Ogayi include: 100mm (2 units) aluminium conductors as well as 20mm and 50mm double copper conductors measuring 5 meters.
He said: “Similarly, the Nkpor Vigilance Group arrested one Ubaka Okafor for vandalising Umusiome Distribution Substation in Onitsha, Anambra, property of the EEDC, carting away three intermediate cables as well as the up-riser cable.
“Customers being fed by the attacked substations are currently subjected to blackout and untold inconveniences. And as a result, the EEDC has not been able to live up to its responsibility.”
The EEDC spokesman said that all the suspects had been handed over to the police for proper investigation and possible prosecution.
He also encouraged customers to be more vigilant in ensuring that the electricity infrastructure within their environment are safe from vandals, so that the services the EEDC offers to them would not be disrupted.