The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) yesterday announced that one of its employees, Bamidele Rasaq, had been convicted for destroying assets belonging to the power firm.
The AEDC which has its franchise areas as Abuja, Niger, Kogi and Nasarawa, vowed to ensure that maximum punishment was meted to its staff and members of the public who willingly set out to sabotage its activities.
A statement by the AEDC’s Chief Marketing Officer, Donald Etim, revealed that that Rasaq was arrested on May 19, by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Kogi State.
He noted that the convict was eventually charged to a chief magistrate’s court and sentenced to one-year imprisonment over his involvement in the nefarious act.
Etim stated that the company has zero tolerance for vandalism of its network assets, “irrespective of whether perpetrators of such actions are staff of AEDC or members of the general public.”
He disclosed that further disciplinary measures would take its full course which in the current case is outright dismissal and loss of all employee benefits.
He added that vandalism of electricity network infrastructure remained a serious offence punishable with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment under section 1(9) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, 2004.
In a related recent incident, the AEDC stated that an upper Sharia Court sitting in Minna, Niger State, had handed down a one-year jail term to one Abdulsalamad Abubakar, who was caught equally vandalising an AEDC substation in Paida junction of Minna.
Etim noted that Abubakar was apprehended in the criminal act on the 29th of March, 2022, by an official of the Nigeria police and was charged to court for contravening Sections 123 and 385 of the Sharia Penal Code law of Niger state.
He noted that the law prescribes five years’ imprisonment as punishment for the offence.
“The convict had earlier been paraded before journalists by the NPF ahead of his arraignment in court, alongside numerous items found in his possession, which include: (1) 15-metres XLPE cables; (2) 300mm incomer cables and (3) 5 metres of 150mm.
“The management will not relent in its effort to tackle vandalism and other mischief on its network.
“We are committed to ensuring that apprehended vandals are tried in accordance with the law and made to face the consequences of their actions without any prejudice,” the power firm said.
To curtail the menace of vandalism and energy theft on its distribution infrastructure, AEDC said that it will continue to partner all the security agencies.
It implored members of the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities around power installations in their areas through its various contact channels.