The Osun State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps said it arrested at least 100 persons in a joint operation with the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company for alleged energy theft within seven months in different parts of the state.
The State Commandant of the NSCDC, Sunday Agboola, made the development known in Osogbo, Osun State.
Agboola spoke on Monday at the NSCDC Headquarters when he paraded seven persons also arrested by the command for alleged energy theft.
He said the seven suspects were arrested on October 13 in Awosuru, Alekuwodo, Jaleyemi, Omigbade and Ogo-Oluwa areas of Osogbo, the state capital.
According to him, the suspects allegedly confessed to the crime.
He said it was surprising that in spite of the several arrests made by the command, some people were still bent on the illegal act.
Agboola said: “The offence is known as economic sabotage and it is one of the factors militating against the development of the nation.
“We will not rest on our oars until we see positive changes.”
Commenting on the arrest of the 100 suspects, the Ibadan Electricity Communication Officer for Osun region, Kikelomo Owoeye, said they were arrested between April and October.
According to her, energy theft had to do with meter by-passing, meter tampering, and illegal connection.
Owoeye said: “This is illegal and also a criminal offence.
“In the last seven months, we have been able to arrest 100 suspects for energy theft and some of them are already facing prosecution in court.
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“When people connect to our grid illegally, it will affect our genuine customers and as for the electricity we are buying, we will not have revenue to actually pay for our market operators.
“It is an economic sabotage and it is affecting the business, the communities as well as other customers.
“We appeal to residents to desist from stealing our energy.
“If they keep doing that, we will not remain in business and it will affect the society at large because it is an economic sabotage.”