A yet to be identified vandal suspect was electrocuted in the early hours of Sunday.
Naijacrawl learnt that the incident occurred while he was vandalising the Umuezerimpi 500KVA Distribution Substation, property of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC), located at Umuatuegwu Okija, Anambra State.
The incident came a few days after four other people were also nabbed for vandalizing EEDC installations at different locations.
These developments were confirmed by the Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, in Enugu.
According to Ezeh, the deceased was not operating alone, as other members of his gang took to their heels immediately after he was electrocuted, leaving behind his lifeless body and their tools at the scene of the incident.
Ezeh confirmed that a formal report on this development has been lodged at the Okija Police Division for a detailed investigation.
The tools used by the electrocuted vandal and his fleeing colleagues were also recovered and his corpse deposited at the Okija General Hospital Mortuary, "he said.
“Just imagine how this young man has cut his life short over nothing."
“It is hoped that this will serve as a deterrent to others engaging in this dastardly act,” he added.
Meanwhile, only a few days ago, a young man identified as Wisdom Kalu Onu, an indigene of Abia State, was apprehended by the security personnel of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, for vandalizing electrical installations located within the campus premises, belonging to the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC).
The suspect, along with the vandalized materials, has been handed over to Nsukka Urban Police Station for proper investigation and possible prosecution.
Ezeh, who narrated the ugly experience the company had been going through in the hands of vandals, reiterated the company’s resolve to continue working with critical stakeholders to ensure that these elements perpetrating this dastardly act are apprehended and brought to book.
He said that there was no day that passed without the company receiving a report of an electrical installation that had been attacked.
“It has gone so bad that the vandals now go as far as draining transformer oil, even after carting away with the armoured cables," a situation he described as disheartening.
According to the company’s spokesman, well over twenty transformers have been attacked by vandals across the company’s network in the past three weeks, with four of the vandals apprehended.
“On Monday, at Ndibe, in Afikpo North Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, a suspect identified as Ogbonnia Otu, was apprehended by the President General of the community with the support of his team, in possession of a 150mm2 upriser cable believed to have been carted from a distribution substation belonging to EEDC.
“Similarly, on Sunday, a suspected vandal, Tochukwu Onumaegbulam, was arrested by the Electricity Committee Task Force of Umuloola Community, Orlu, Imo State, for vandalizing the distribution substation serving the community.
“In Abatete, Anambra State, Ndubuisi Okuogba was arrested by members of the Vigilante Group in Abatete for vandalizing a 500KVA distribution substation serving the area." The suspect was apprehended while in possession of four intermediate armoured cables stolen from the substation, which he had burned for the purpose of extracting the copper before his arrest.
“The suspects were handed over to the respective police stations for proper investigation and possible prosecution,” he disclosed.
While calling on customers to be more involved in securing these installations that are serving them, Ezeh commended the efforts of the Security Personnel and Vigilante Groups, as well as the President General and his team, in apprehending the suspects.
“There is a need for our customers to be more vigilant in ensuring that electricity installations sited within their neighborhoods are protected against attacks by these criminal elements in society,” he added.
Ezeh reiterated that these vandals were capitalizing on the poor availability occasioned by the drop in quantum of power generation experienced in the sector in recent times, which has adversely affected the company’s daily energy allocation.
“We keep committing millions of naira to restoring vandalized installations, and this is no longer sustainable, considering our current financial state,” he lamented.