An official of Ikeja Electric, Popoola Olakunle, has narrated how four men, who were armed with bottles, rod and machete, attempted to kill him for refusing to pay N10,000 before fixing a faulty transformer at Iju-Ishaga, Fagba area of Lagos State.
He explained that a customer came to lodge a complaint of a faulty transformer and in less than two hours, he and his colleagues had reached the scene.
A preliminary investigation revealed the fault.
Olakunle was just about to carry out the repairs when the four men appeared from nowhere and demanded N10,000 before they would allow them to fix the fault.
When Olakunle tried to continue with his job, they pounced on him, first with bottles, then machete and then a rod.
Soon, the earth turned crimson with blood, with everyone scampering for safety.
Olakunle said: “I had just climbed down from the pole when the four men got to us.
“They asked us who was Okpara, but nobody responded.
“They now insist that before we carry out any repair, we have to pay N10,000.
“They were shouting and just as I was about to continue with my job, one of them, screamed at me, saying: ‘Are you mad? I’m talking to you.’
“The next was that he slapped me on my face.
“I shouted: ‘What happened?’
“One of them broke a bottle on my head and everyone in that community, including my colleagues, all ran away.
“The third one broke another bottle on my head.
“I wanted to run, but they held my uniform.
“Bottles were slammed on my head like 12 times.
“The one called Osama suddenly brought out machete from under his clothes and hit it on my back and head.
“Osama was shouting at others to kill me.
“He took iron and hit it on my head and body like five times.
“When the community realised that they were about to kill me, they came and stopped them.”
Olakunle was rushed to a place, where his head was stitched to avoid him bleeding to death, before he was rushed to hospital.
Realising he has caused bodily harm to the official, Olanrewaju and his friends disappeared into thin air, leading to a man-hunt.
Olanrewaju was eventually arrested on March 16, 2021, with the assistance of the Traditional Ruler’s team in the community and then handed over to the Oko-Oba Police Station for prosecution.
However, his friends are still at large.
The Head of Corporate Communications Ikeja Electric, Felix Ofulue, cautioned against continuous assault on IE field officials, stressing that the company has strong commitment to the safety and wellbeing of its employees, and that it wouldn’t compromise in its efforts to safeguard this commitment.
His words: “IE will continue to condemn these attacks on its employees in strong terms. While we understand that there may be sentiments regarding utility services can be quite emotive, we maintain that wanton attacks on our staff is completely irrational, irresponsible and unproductive, especially where IE has provided multiple channels through which our customers can lodge formal complaints with respect to our service.
“Where responses from these channels are deemed unsatisfactory, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has also set up a robust forum office for the redress of customer complaints.”