Benin distribution coy assaults customers over electricity bill
A group, the Edo State Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) is set for a showdown with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) over alleged assault on one Innocent Okpara on the order of an expatriate working with the firm.
A statement signed by the spokesperson of the CSOs, Comrade Osazee Edigin, said, “Two weeks ago, the BEDC disconnected a Nigerian by the name Innocent Okpara while the expatriate working with them ordered military personnel attached to him to assault him because he requested to have hold of his cables. We received Innocent’s petition in our office, and the appropriate authorities were contacted to get justice for him… We view this as oppression which must not be allowed to stand. We are calling on all our CSOs to be ready because BEDC should be made to know that power belongs to the people.”
Responding, BEDC’s Head of Media, Adekunle Tayo, said in a statement that nobody was assaulted, that Okpara was disconnected for owing over N80,000 yet he kept reconnecting himself illegally to the network without sorting out the debt.
He said the Enforcement Team led by one of the USAID partners went to his location and discovered that he was illegally connected, adding that he was disconnected without resistance.
“He came back saying that his service wire should be returned to him and that the white men (USAID officials) had no right to hold to it. The service wire is usually taken away for safety reason and to serve as deterrent and is a policy position of BEDC,” Tayo said.