Two residents of Fatokun Street in Abule Taylor, off Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Lagos have been arraigned before an Ogba Magistrate Court for energy theft under the Ikeja Electric network.
The duo of Latefat Shofidiya, 65. and Ekundayo Taiwo, 40 were nabbed, after initially absconding from their residence, for stealing power supply by illegally tapping from a source and passing it underground for more than 100 meters right into their home.
The video of the theft showing staff of Ikeja Electric uprooting a long and shallow dug, hidden cable passing through the ground, went viral a few weeks ago.
They were arraigned before Magistrate O. Ogunsanmi of Ogba Magistrate Court 2 on a three count charge bothering on conspiracy to commit felony punishable under section 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State; Unlawful tampering with the private property of Ikeja Electric Plc contrary and punishable under Section 340 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State; and unlawful underground connection of electricity punishable under Section 52 of the Lagos State Electric Power Sector Reform Law, 2018.
The Defendants pleaded not guilty to all counts and were granted bail in the sum of N200,000 and two sureties in the like sum.
The address of the sureties are to be verified by court officials.
They were consequently remanded pending the perfection of the bail conditions and the case was adjourned to August 12, 2020 for hearing.
While commenting on the issue, Ikeja Electric’s Head of Corporate Communications, Felix Ofulue, pointed out that energy theft was a major challenge bedeviling the power sector.
According to Ofulue: “Apart from the illegality and the negative impact of the activity on the bills of neighbours, it is also a major safety threat.
“That is why we deploy legal means to address the anomaly.”
He advised customers to desist from acts that are inimical to the progress of the sector and habits that can hamper excellent service deliver.
He also commended the security agencies for providing dependable support and for the role they play in protecting IE infrastructure against theft and vandalism.
Ofulue urged members of the public to report suspected illegal activities on electrical facilities through Ikeja Electric’s Customer Care hotline: 01-700 0250, 09087940825, or send an e-mail to: [email protected].