Three suspected vandals, Kabiru Musa, 20; Abubakar Mohammed Umar, 25 and Rayyali Ibrahim 23, have been remanded in Kirikiri Prisons Lagos for damaging and stealing armored cables from a transformer belonging to Ikeja Electric Plc, at NEPA Coop Estate in Ijede, Ikorodu.
The trio was arraigned at Agbowa Magistrate Court in Ikorodu following their attempt to cart away with cables they had severed from the transformer. They pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge when they appeared before His Honour Magistrate A. O Ogbe on Thursday, July 26, 2018.
According to the charge sheet, the trio did conspire among themselves “to commit felony to willful damage and stealing and thereby committed an offense punishable under the section 411 of the criminal law, laws of the Lagos State of Nigeria 2015.
The charge further stated that they “willfully and unlawfully interfered with Ikeja Electric Distribution Company’s Electric Transformer thereby disconnecting its Step-Down cable and Upriser Cable with intent to steal and thereby committed an offense punishable under section 340 of the criminal law, laws of the Lagos State of Nigeria 2015.
“On the same date, time and place in the aforementioned Magisterial District the suspects did steal 24 meter of electric transformer armored cable value Sixty Five Thousand Naira (N65, 000) property of Ikeja Electric Distribution Company and thereby committed an offense punishable under section 280(2)(a) of the criminal law, laws of the Lagos State of Nigeria 2015,” the charge read.
Magistrate A. O Ogbe adjourned the case till next month for hearing while the three suspects have been moved to Kirikiri Prison for failure to meet the bail conditions.
In his reaction, Head of Corporate Communications for Ikeja Electric, Felix Ofulue, confirmed that vandalism, theft of electricity materials and energy theft through meter bypass and illegal connections, remain a major challenge facing the company.
According to him, these illegal activities further sabotages the company’s efforts to provide excellent service delivery as customers will be affected by the extended power outage resulting from these unpleasant activities.
He commended the security agencies for providing dependable support and for the role they play in protecting IE infrastructure against vandalism while he further urged the Community Development Association (CDA) chairmen and members of the public to assist the DisCo in safeguarding the electrical infrastructure in their respective communities.