Panel in­dicts Eko Disco over stu­dent’s elec­tro­cu­tion

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - From Mo­hammed Shosanya, Lagos

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.

He warned

that

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

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