Six suspected electricity vandals have been arrested in Enugu and Abia states as cases of vandalism of power installations rise in the South Eastern states, bringing the number of vandalism cases on EEDC installations in the zone in recent times to 78.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Head, Communications, of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh in Enugu Wednesday night.
Ezeh said that two suspects including one Mr Chibuike Nwosu, who deals on electrical parts was arrested with one Paul Ike by some members of the Neighbourhood Vigilante group over alleged vandalism of three Up- riser armoured cables of a 500KVA and another 11/0.415 Distribution Sub Station, property of the EEDC at Rehab Road, Emene, Enugu State.
According to Ezeh, “Nwosu, a dealer in electrical equipment at shop 37 Adelabu Street, Kenyatta, Enugu, was the alleged receiver of the stolen equipment even as he pointed out that the vigilante members apprehended the suspects while they were trying to escape in a Nissan Bluebird salon car with registration number NSH-160 CW, belonging to Mr. Nwosu.”
He further stated that the two suspects had earlier engaged in the vandalism of same sub- station on Thursday, August 18, 2016, after which they reportedly made away with an armoured intermediate cable, while “the two-phase and neutral cables were recovered.”
Ezeh stressed that the EEDC was already making arrangements to replace the stolen cables during the first attack, so that electricity supply could be restored to its customers who were already being inconvenienced as a result of the ugly incident, when the suspects “came back to complete their unfinished business” before ran out on them.
In a related development, Ezeh stated that four suspects were also caught at Umuahia, Abia State while vandalising the Udi Street Distribution Sub Station belonging to EEDC. “The group actually came to finish up their attack on the Sub Station which had also been vandalised earlier.
“It took the intervention of a private security man attached to a fast food eatery in Umuahia, who apprehended one of the vandals and raised an alarm, which attracted a team of police officers on patrol that eventually assisted in arresting the remaining three. This group confessed being responsible for other acts of vandalism that occurred in the district.
“All the apprehended vandals were subsequently handed over to the police for further investigation and prosecution, together with all the recovered armoured cables.
“We have been soliciting the support and cooperation of our customers towards ensuring that our electrical installations within their vicinity are protected against vandals; because from these incidents.., our customers have come to realise that they can’t sit by and fold their hands while some few elements who do not mean well for them put them in an inconveniencing situation for a period of time”.
The cost implication of replacing these installations any time they are vandalised runs into millions of Naira; and this is seriously impacting negatively on the efficiency of EEDC in meeting its commitment to her customers.
“So far, we have recorded no fewer than 78 cases of vandalism across the South East states…and have also expended a substantial amount of money repairing and replacing vandalised equipment while achieving considerable success in prosecuting arrested vandals.
“For those that patronise the vandals, we want them to know that they are equally culprits, as they are aiding and encouraging the vandals,” he further stated pointing out that the management of EEDC appreciates and also commend the efforts of various Vigilante groups, Civil Defence Corps, the Army and the Nigerian Police who have worked tirelessly towards ensuring that those behind these clandestine acts are brought to justice.”