Agatha Chitumu, Abuja
Daily Courier – For the uptenth time, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has vowed to punish culprits found vandalizing its assets.
A statement signed by Mr. Donald Etim and made available to Daily Courier in Abuja gave the indication.
Recall that some staff arrested in vandalism cases in Kogi and Niger has gotten conviction and jail terms respectively.
A staff of AEDC, Bamidele Rasaq had in a report dated 19th May 2022, got arrested by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Kogi State.
He has since been charged to a Chief Magistrate Court and sentenced to one-year imprisonment over his involvement in the vandalisation of installations.
Making his stance known against the backdrop, the Chief Marketing Officer of AEDC, Mr. Donald Etim, has restated the company Zero Tolerance for Vandalism of its Network assets.
Wether perpetrators of such actions are staff of AEDC or members of the general public, the company in a statement disclosed further that disciplinary measures will take its full course.
“In this case, punitive measures could be outright dismissal and loss of all employee benefits.
“Vandalism of electricity network infrastructure is a serious offence punishable with a Maximum Sentence of Life Imprisonment under Section 1(9) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act LFN 2004.
“In a recent incident, an upper Sharia Court sitting in Minna, Niger State, handed a one-year jail term to one Abdulsalamad Abubakar, who was caught vandalizing an AEDC substation in Paida junction of Minna.
“Abdulsalamad, who was apprehended in the criminal act on the 29th of March, 2022 by an official of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), was charged to court for contravening Sections 123 and 385 of the Sharia Penal Code law of Niger state, which prescribes five years’ imprisonment punishment for the offense.
“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-meter XLPE cable; (2) 300mm incomer cable and (3) 5 meters of 150mm.”
AEDC has therefore assured the public thus: “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”.
“To curtail the menace of Vandalism and Energy Theft on its distribution infrastructure, AEDC will continue to partner with security agencies and implores all members of the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities around power installations in their areas through its various contact channels.”