A staff of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) identified as Mr James Olayemi has just bagged a six months imprisonment for illegally disconnecting a customer.
Mr. James allegedly disconnected the electricity supply to the premises of the company’s customer, Dennis Osanwuta.
Tanko Muhammed, Chief Magistrate delivered the judgment on Thursday, August 12, and also ordered immediate reconnection of electricity supply to Osanwuta’s premises.
According to The Chief Magistrate, Mr. James was convicted and sentenced accordingly for violating various sections of the extant laws on electricity services, however, absolved the AEDC Regional Manager, Lameed Obadaki, was the second defendant, of any complicity on the two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and unlawful disconnection.
The disconnection offence was punishable under Section 94 and Section 5 of the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act, 2005 which provides that electricity consumers must be given a maximum of 10 days for payment of electricity bills.
Obadaki was discharged and acquitted by the Judge who said evidence presented in the case showed there was no link between him and the criminal activities of the first defendant.
However, Mr James was given a fine of N50,000, the Magistrate said;
“The EPSR also provides for a three-month written notice disconnection to a customer before AEDC can affect an impending disconnection.
“In view of evidence before me, the complainant has not been given such opportunity; therefore, the first defendant is guilty as charged.
“I hereby sentence you to six months imprisonment, with an option of fine of N50,000.”