Alleged Assault on Electricity Consumer: Rights Groups Threaten to Shut BEDC

Edo State-based Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), have threatened showdown with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), over alleged assault on one Innocent Okpara, on the instruction of an expatriate who works with the firm.
According to a statement endorsed by its spokesman, Osazee Edigin, the rights activists threatened to mobilise their members to shut the headquarters of the electricity distribution company.
“Two weeks ago, the BEDC disconnected a Nigerian by the name Innocent Okpara and the a White Man (name unknown) working with them ordered military personnel attached to him to assault him because he requested to collect from them his cables.
“We received his (Okpara) petition in our office, and the appropriate authorities were contacted to get justice for him.
“Afterwards, he made some payments of the money he was alleged to be owing as he had contested the outrageous estimated bills served him by BEDC. Having collected his money and he expects to be connected, BEDC gave him condition to withdraw all his petitions against them and the White Man before reconnection.
“We have viewed this as intimidation, misuse of opportunity and oppressive, which must not be allowed to stand.
“To this end, we are calling on all our gallant comrades far and near, because BEDC should be made to know that power belongs to the people,” the statement said.
Responding to the allegation, the Head of Media, BEDC, Mr. Tayo Adekunle, denied that an expatriate of the company ordered the assault melted out to the customer.
He said its enforcement team had visited Evbuoriaria community wherein the group discovered that the complaint and others were owing electricity bills.
Adekunle stated that the team also observed that the consumers were connected inspite of their outrageous debt.
According to him, “whereas, the company’s policy is that any service wire disconnected would be withheld until the customer offsets his debts.”
Adekunle further said that after disconnection, the said Innocent wrestled with the security detailed to the expatriate in a bid to retrieve the service wire.

Author: News Editor

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