Two jailed for vandalising electricity cables

A Federal High Court sitting in Awka, the Anambra State capital has sentenced Chinonso Chinaemelu, 27-year-old, and Okoye Christian, 20-year-old to one-year imprisonment respectively for vandalising a distribution substation belonging to the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc.

This development was made known by the Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC, Emeka Ezeh, in a statement on Thursday.

Ezeh said the duo were arrested on November 29, 2023, by Abatete local vigilante group while attempting to vandalise the distribution substation within the locality.

He also confirmed that in the same week, a couple identified as Mr & Mrs Ebuka Umeh, were arrested by members of Isuorji community neighbourhood security in Orlu, Imo State.

According to him, the couple was arrested when the wife was attempting to pick the vandalised items from a distribution substation belonging to EEDC with their motorcycle, adding that the couple attacked the substation for three days.

Ezeh said, “In a related development, a vandal suspect identified as Chukwuebuka Ezike who hails from Umunachi in Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State was arrested by Umuezinachi community neighbourhood watch while he was cutting aluminum conductor around Orie Uguiri Market.

“At Amachi-Izhia, Ebonyi State, Amara Joseph Ajagbo was arrested by members of the Electricity Committee for vandalizing nine spans of aluminum conductors in their community, while two of his gang members escaped.

“The suspects have been handed over to the respective Police formations for proper investigation and possible prosecution.”

Ezeh lamented the spate of vandalism in the EEDC network, stating that it is a major challenge negatively impacting the smooth operations of the company.

According to him, between January 2022 to date, the company has recorded over 170 cases of vandalism in its network, with about 135 suspected vandals arrested, out of which over 100 have been charged to court.

He stressed that the company will not relent in its resolve to prosecute these arrested suspects and go all out to fish out receivers of these vandalized items as they remain the motivation for the vandals.

Ezeh lamented that it has become difficult for the organisation to fund the restoration of vandalised infrastructure and that the development is affecting service delivery to customers.

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