The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) on Tuesday set the stage for the prosecution of its customers, Akinkuolie Akinrinsola and Yahaya Abubakar, as their cases were brought before the Wuse 2 Magistrate Court 4 presided over by Nuhu Tukur for allegedly stealing of electricity.
This development follows the AEDC’s entry into a partnership with the director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federation, Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) to create a task force charged with the responsibility of eliminating electricity related offences in its area of coverage last year.
According to the prosecutor, Ama Yeboah, Senior State Council of the Federal Ministry of Justice, who represented the DPP, Akinkuolie a resident of EN: 1524, 32CC Nwuche Crescent, Trade More Estate, Lugbe FCT Abuja, a customer of the AEDC who was issued a pre-paid meter dishonestly diverted the use of electricity, interfered with electric fittings and thus stole 13,150kw/h of electricity energy valued at N516,263.
The case was said to have been reported to the Special Investigation and Prosecution on Electricity Offences at the Federal Ministry of Justice by Morayo Yedoni, the regional officer of AEDC on September 19, 2017 , that Akinkuolie did carried out the electricity theft on June 6, 2017.
Similarly, Yahaya a staff of Abeysteph Printing Press, located at Block A Suite A1, ground floor, Murg Shopping Mall Area 10, Garki District FCT Abuja, also issued a pre-paid meter was said to have dishonestly diverted the use of meter and subsequently stole 81,101kw/h of electricity energy valued at N3,032,366.39.
The offence according to the prosecutor was not only mischievous and electricity theft, but is contrary to Section 286 (2) and Section 334 of the Penal Code Act, CAP. P3. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Both accused pleaded not guilty and the cases were adjoined to May 2 and 7, 2018 , respectively , while they were granted bail on the sum of N300,000 and N600,000 respective with a surety who is preferably a civil servant and a resident of the FCT.
Meanwhile, there are indications that the special task force on electricity theft is currently investigating over 600 cases and may soon charge the accused offenders to court for prosecution.