No fewer than 21 electricity vandals have been arrested within a month in the South-East by Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).
The Head, Communications of the company, Mr Chukwuemeka Ezeh, told newsmen in Enugu on Thursday that the electricity installation vandals were arrested in July this year.
Ezeh noted that in Anambra, the trio of Chigozie Okonkwo, Odinaka Iwuchukwu and Chineme Eke-Kalu were arrested for vandalising 300KVA Gabson II substation located at MCC Road, Onitsha and the 500KVA substation located at Bishop Onyeabor Street in Onitsha.
He said:“In Ebonyi, Samuel Onyema, Ugwu Igboke and Sunday Nwigwe were arrested for destroying Mgbom II 200KVA transformer located at Mgbom, Ugwulangwu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the state.
“While at Amana Village, Onueke in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi, Nwankwo Chukwu and Nwaorie Chukwudo were arrested for vandalizing Onueke 300KVA substation. They equally admitted to being responsible for vandalizing Ameke village substation in the course of interrogation.
“Also at Umunaga village, Ohaozara in Abakaliki; Izuchukwu Okoro was arrested for vandalizing EEDC transformer; and Anthony Amadi, Oko Okechukwu and David Ibiam, were arrested for vandalising Ekoli Edda 300KVA, 33/0.415KV Sub-station; while John Uka was arrested for attempting to remove a 100KVA transformer at Mbukobe Ntezi-Aba, Ebonyi State’’.
Ezeh added that In Enugu State, youths of Amaukwo community in Awgu Local Government Area, apprehended Chidera Nweke and Ozoemena Okeke for vandalizing a newly installed transformer which was awaiting commissioning.
He noted that Ifeanyi Onwuegbunam, in company of others currently at large, was arrested for vandalizing Umurah Ndeaboh Aninri 300KVA Substation; while Chizoba Akam was arrested for vandalising the intermediate cables from Mrs. Obiekwe Sub-station, Ugbene in Enugu East LGA.
“In Imo State, Freedom Nboh, Joseph Naphas and Abel Ayuba, who hail from Plateau State, were arrested for vandalizing Umugankwo 500KVA Sub-station at Uratta Owerri; while Atiku Adamu, who claimed to be from Adamawa State, was arrested by some civil guards for vandalizing 11KV HT pole near MacDonald Akano sub-station, New Owerri,’’ he said.
According to him, the apprehended vandals have been handed over to the police in the respective states for proper investigation and possible prosecution.
Ezeh lamented that it was worrisome that while EEDC had been striving to improve on its service delivery, some individuals that ordinarily should had been engaging in more productive activities resort to frustrating both the company and its customers.
“This singular act of vandalism costs EEDC a lot financially and end up subjecting our customers to a lot of inconveniencies,’’ he said.
He, however, appreciated the various security agencies, vigilante groups and the judiciary for their support in apprehending these vandals and prosecuting them, adding : “EEDC will not relent in this fight, and hope that this serves as deterrent to many others that are engaging in such activity’’.
Meanwhile, Calistus Iwuagwu (29) was on July 30 sentenced to two years imprisonment, without option of fine by Chief Magistrate E. U. Chinaka at the Ihitte-Uboma Magisterial District, Holden at Isinkwe in Imo State for vandalizing armoured cables, a property of EEDC.
Calistus, who pleaded guilty as charged, had been sent to Okigwe Prison, where he is expected to serve his term.
He was arraigned and charged under section 390(9) of the criminal code cap 30 vol. II laws of Eastern Nigeria, 1963 la