The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC(Benin Forum Office) has ordered the Benin Electricity Distribution Cmpany, BEDC to within one month refund the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand naira allegedly collected as money for the repairs of a faulty transformer back to Otovwodo Igbudu No. 2 Community in Warri, Delta State, Daily Post reprts.
The order which is contained in Complaint No. BENFO/NERC/093/2017 follows a petition instituted by a Customary Judge in Agbarha District Customary Court, Hon. Power Bager and the Community Chairman, Chief Julius Edafuadjebre on behalf of the Community.
” BEDC should within one month from the date of this decision, upgrade the previous faulty transformer that was feeding the community to a 500KVA and restore power supply to the Community”.
“Henceforth; no community under the BEDC operational area should be systematically severed from power supply under the guise of faulty transformer by BEDC.”
The Forum stated that it was wrong for BEDC to advise the community to repair the transformer in deviance to its regulations on MYTO 2015 which forbids the discos from inducing electricity consumers to purchase or repair electricity infrastructures/devices for discos.
The ruling is coming after BEDC allegedly threw the Community into three years of perpetual darkness since 13/3/2014 because thirty seven out of sixty two residents owed the company Three million,Nine Hundred Naira light bill.
Efforts by representatives of the Community who also suffered physical and mental torture could not yield any result.
Rather than restore light to the community, the BEDC Manager in Warri asked the representatives to go and collect the debts from debtors and repair the faulty transformer which was blown off in the area.
After three months, the community was thrown into total blackout. Women, children and youths protested to the BEDC yard but were told that their complaints would be looked into as officials of the BEDC gave them a list of thirty seven debtors owing about three million, nine hundred thousand naira with a threat to disconnect them.
Perturbed by the development, over eighty percent of the residents who use prepaid metres questioned the rationale of the BEDC to punish them for the sins they did not commit.
Based on that, the Customary Court Judge, Hon. Power Bager and the Community Chairman, Chief Julius Edafiadjebre instituted a legal battle against the BEDC in which the community gained victory.
As at the time of filing this report, the BEDC is said to be carrying out maintenance work on the transformer pending the restoration of light in the area.