Panel indicts Eko Disco over student’s electrocution
The Federal Government yesterday blamed the recent death of a 300-level student of the University of Lagos, Juliana Oluchi Anekwe, on the negligence of the Eko Electricity Distribution Company to fix its faulty facilities within the premises of the institution.
Mr Peter Ewesor, Chairman of the Federal Government Investigative Panel on the death of Anekwe, yesterday told journalists at Unilag that the Onike 11KV feeder line, which passes through the university, is in a state of disrepair, and is also poorly maintained.
Ewesor’s indictment of Eko Disco tallies with the allegation of Unilag lecturers, under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), against the electricity distributors to the institution as culpable in the electrocution of Anekwe.
The Chairman, ASUU UNILAG chapter, Dr Adelaja Adekoya, had told Daily Trust that the school management had called on the electricity company to correct haphazard placements of its cables within the school campus, but the call was ignored.
Addressing reporters yesterday, Ewesor identified the use of substandard, adulterated, unstranded and undersized all-aluminium conductor (AAC) numerous joints as one of the causes of the accident.
Ewesor explained that “unstranded conductor with continuous arcing at the open joints/kinks eventually melted, snapped and dropped directly on the late Miss Juliana Oluchi Anekwe at the instant she was at the spot.”
According to him, the fault had been on the power company’s line for sometime, but was never fixed
He said the protection schemes and devices in the network were in a state of disrepair and thus failed to respond appropriately for prompt isolation of the line when it snapped and fell on the victim and to the ground.
Ewesor said that in view of the increasing human traffic at the university, the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) has directed that the overhead Onike 11KV feeder line should no longer be used in its present status, but be rerouted underground to avoid future incidents.
the federal government would not hesitate to wield the big stick on any distribution companies that engages in the use of substandard electricity installation equipment within is operations.
Ewesor accused the utility companies of use of substandard materials, unprofessional practices, negligence and poor response to inherent problems in their networks.
NEMSA is working at ensuring that distribution companies are enforced to uphold international best practice in installation of electricity equipments nationwide.
Ewesor, who is the Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation and also Chief Executive Officer of NEMSA disclosed that electricity distribution companies in the country have been indicted in the recent alarming rate of electrical accidents and electrocutions nationwide.
“Discos should note that appropriate enforcement orders and possible sanctions will be meted out for non-compliance with the recommendations of all previous and future monitoring reports sent to them by NEMSA field electrical inspectors nationwide,” he said.
The late Oluchi Anekwe