A Federal High Court sitting in Awka, the Anambra state capital has sentenced one Mr Uchechukwu Maduakor, a native of Ogwu Amanasa Village, Umuchu, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra state to 7 years imprisonment for vandalising electricity installation belonging to the Enugu Electricity Distribution PLC (EEDC).
The court presided over by Hon. Justice Ibrahim B. Gafai of Federal High Court 1 Awka, said the judgment was without option of fine.
Maduakor was charged with unlawfully damaging wires used for converting electricity by cutting off high tension cables at Umuchu Anambra State; an offense contrary to the provisions of the Miscellaneous Offenses Act, Cap M17, Vol. 9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The Head of Communications, EEDC, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, who revealed this to journalist in Awka, said Maduakor was arraigned in court on 26th September 2017, where he pleaded not guilty to the charge, before the trial commenced.
“EEDC has identified vandalism as a major challenge negatively impacting on its operations. This takes various forms, which include: draining of transformer oil, removal of the feeder pillar unit, intermediate or up-riser cables, transformer winding coil or total removal of the transformer, removal of spans of aluminum conductors and other line fittings such as Port Insulators and Cross-Arms.
“The organization has spent millions of Naira on monthly basis replacing and repairing vandalized facilities, coupled with the revenue loss incurred by the business as a result of this challenge.
“However, to forestall this trend, EEDC has been in constant touch with critical stakeholders which include state security agencies and local vigilante groups, soliciting their continued support in ensuring that these electrical installations in their vicinity are not vandalized,” he said.
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He recounted that in May, 2019, the organization secured judgement when the duo of Obasi Nkama Ukpai and Orji Okporie were sentenced to one year, six months imprisonment by Hon. Justice I.P Chima of High Court 2 Afikpo, Ebonyi State, for conspiring to steal cables belonging to EEDC.