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Two power installation vandals bag jail term in Nigeria’s Enugu tate



The Federal High Court in Awka has sentenced two individuals, Chinonso Chinaemelu (27 years old) and Okoye Chisom Christian (20 years old), to one year in prison for vandalizing a distribution substation owned by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC).

This information was shared by Mr. Emeka Ezeh, the Head of Corporate Communications at EEDC, in a statement released to journalists in Enugu, South East Nigeria  on Friday.

The two individuals were apprehended by a local vigilante group in Abatete while trying to vandalize the substation. Additionally, a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Ebuka Umeh, was arrested by members of the Isuorji community neighborhood security in Orlu, Imo State, as Mrs.

Umeh was attempting to retrieve the stolen items from the substation using their motorcycle. The couple had reportedly attacked the substation for three consecutive days.

Mr. Ebuka Umeh confessed that the stolen items were sold to scrap dealers.

The suspects were handed over to the Orlu Police Division for further investigation, and efforts are being made to apprehend the scrap dealers.

In another incident, a suspect named Chukwuebuka Ezike from Umunachi in Orsu Local Government Area, Imo State, was arrested by the Umuezinachi community neighborhood watch while attempting to steal aluminum conductors near Orie Uguiri Market.

Similarly, in Amachi-Izhia, Ebonyi State, a suspect named Amara Joseph Ajagbo was caught by the Electricity Committee for vandalizing nine spans of aluminum conductors in the community, while two of his accomplices managed to escape.

The suspects have been handed over to the police for investigation and potential prosecution. Mr. Ezeh expressed concern over the high rate of vandalism in the EEDC network, highlighting the negative impact on the company’s operations.

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He mentioned that from January 2022 to the present, there have been over 170 cases of vandalism, leading to the arrest of approximately 135 suspects, with over 100 facing charges in court.

Ezeh emphasized the company’s commitment to prosecuting those responsible for vandalism and tracking down the recipients of the stolen items, as they are seen as the driving force behind these criminal acts.

He noted the financial strain caused by the need to repair vandalized infrastructure, which ultimately affects service delivery to customers.

Ezeh praised the judiciary for the verdict and hoped it would deter others from engaging in similar criminal activities.

He also thanked communities that have collaborated with EEDC to combat vandalism and urged others to follow suit, as damaging these installations can result in power outages for customers.

Customers were advised to remain vigilant and prevent vandalism in their neighborhoods to avoid inconvenience caused by service disruptions.

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