Enugu: No fewer than eight suspected vandals have been apprehended fortheir involvement in attack and stealing of electrical installations belonging to Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).
The Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, said in a statement on Thursday that the vandals were apprehended within a period of one-months in different states 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 also commended the support of critical stakeholders and the various vigilante groups in nipping this ugly trend in the bud, even as he confirmed that most of the arrests were made by the vigilant 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 aluminum conductors (cables), by the youths of Ulakwo community in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State.
“Within the same period, with the assistance of security men attached to Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka; Ifeanyi Onwe and Anthony Oselebe, were arrested for vandalising a substation belonging to EEDC situated along Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, by Pioneer Students Hostel.
“Earlier in the month, at Uzuakoli, Abia State, the Ngwu relief distribution substation belonging to 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 State, some members of vigilante group arrested the duo of Kingsley Agwu and Ebere Uchendu, while vandalising a feeder panel, property of EEDC,” he said.
The EEDC spokesman also recalled that in late August, Chukwuka Ogayi was arrested by members of Umuoru Amaechi community electricity committee in Ohaukwu Local Government Area, Ebonyi, while vandalising a distribution transformer belonging to EEDC.
Ezeh said that items recovered from the suspect, Ogayi, included: 100mm 2 aluminum conductor as well as 20mm and 50mm double copper conductor measuring 5-meter.
He said: “Similarly, the Nkpor vigilante group arrested one Ubaka Okafor for vandalising Umusiome distribution substation in Onitsha, Anambra, property of 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, EEDC have not been able to live up to its responsibility owing to these acts perpetrated by the suspects.”
The EEDC spokesman said that all the suspects had handed over to the police for proper investigation and possible prosecution.
He also encouraged customers to be more vigilant in ensuring that the electricity infrastructures within their environment are safe from vandals, so that the services EEDC offers to them would not be disrupted. (Flowerbudnews)