The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) on Wednesday said it would continue to partner with security agencies to fight vandals off its assets.
The AEDC’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mr Donald Etim, who made this known in a statement in Abuja, urged members of the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities around power installation in their areas through the various contact channels.
“AEDC will continue to partner with security agencies to curtail the menace of vandalism and energy theft on its distribution infrastructure.
Etim said that the company has zero tolerance for vandalism of its network assets irrespective of whether the perpetrators of such actions are its staff or members of the public.
He assured that the management of AEDC would not relent in its efforts to tackle vandalism and other mischief on its network.
“We are committed to ensuring that apprehended vandals are tried in accordance with the law and made to face the consequences of their actions without any prejudice.
‘’Disciplinary measures would take its full course, which in this case, is outright dismissal and loss of all employee benefits, in case of indicted members of staff,” he said.
According to him, vandalism of electricity network infrastructure is a serious offence, punishable with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment under Section 1(9) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act LFN, 2004.
Etim said that a staff of AEDC, Bamidele Rasaq, who was arrested by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Kogi State, was charged in a Chief Magistrate Court and sentenced to one-year imprisonment over his involvement in the vandalism of AEDC installations.
He said that in a related recent incident also, an upper Sharia Court sitting in Minna, Niger State, handed a one-year jail term to one Abdulsalamad Abubakar, who was caught vandalizing an AEDC substation in Paida junction of Minna.
He said that Abubakar was apprehended in the criminal act on March 29 by an official of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF).
“He was charged to court for contravening Sections 123 and 385 of the Sharia Penal Code law of Niger state, which prescribes five years imprisonment for the offence.
“The convict had earlier been paraded before journalists by the NPF ahead of his arraignment in court, alongside numerous items found in his possession,” Etim said.
He said that the items found with him include a 15-meter XLPE cable; 300mm incomer cable and 5 meters of 150mm cable.