Omena Sunday, 24 years and Bashir Sheu aged 28 years were arraigned before the Magistrate Court 1 Mushin, sitting at Ogba Magistrate Court on the 11th of January 2023 and Ifo Magistrate Court 2, Ifo Local Government in Ogun State on 27 September, 2022 respectively for vandalism and stealing transformer cables at Five Star Junction Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos and Otun Olori Akute area of Ogun State.
Omena having pleaded guilty of Count 1, 2 and 3 of the four Charge, he was sentenced to six months imprisonment for Count 1, one year imprisonment for Count 2 and 3 of the Charge accordingly which would all run concurrently for one year with hard labour without option of fine, to serve as a deterrence to others who may want to indulge in such criminal acts.
While Omena is serving his jail terms on count one to three, if he is found guilty on count , his jail term will be added to his running jail terms since the count was adjourned to 30th January, 2023 for continuation of trial.
In the same vein and according to the charge sheet, Bashir Sheu aged 28 and others at large was arrested and arraigned before Ifo Magistrate Court 2, Ifo Local Government in Ogun State on 27 September 2022. The Defendant was charged on a two-count charge on conspiracy and stealing Ikeja Electric’s transformer cables thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 390 (90) of the criminal code volume 1 Law of Ogun State. 2006.
The charge was interpreted to the Defendant in Hausa language. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. The matter came up again for judgment on 18 January 2023. Bashir was found guilty of the two-count charge and sentenced to one year imprisonment on the two counts which shall run concurrently starting from 26th September, 2022 being the date he was remanded.
The Acting Head of Corporate Communications Ikeja Electric, Kingsley Okotie stated that increase in the rate of vandalization of electricity installations has become worrisome to the Distribution Company. According to him, vandalism affects not just the distribution company but also customers, both residential and commercial, as everyone is thrown into darkness over long periods until the assets are replaced.
He therefore called on all stakeholders to collaborate to curb the ugly trend, while encouraging Community Development Associations, CDA, to make use of their vigilantes in addition to other security agencies and safeguard electrical equipment in their neighborhood.
The Ikeja Electric spokesman also warned criminally minded individuals within the society to desist from nefarious acts such as energy theft, illegal connections, safety breaches, bribery/extortion, tampering, meter-bypass, harassment and assault of our staff while discharging their legitimate duties as these will hinder the Company’s smooth operations for excellent service delivery.
He commended security agencies for providing support in protecting IE infrastructure and urged members of the public to report any suspected illegalities on electrical installations around them through Ikeja Electric.