Electricity firm staff battered for ‘disconnecting’ ex-IGP’s property
In order to put up a volte-face to please his principal, the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Environment Gabriel Akaaka, ordered the arrest and detention of a 17-year-old JSS 3 Secondary School student, Stephen Terlumum Tabulo, for commenting over the ongoing political struggle in the southern senatorial district of the state.
Tabulo attends Government Secondary School, Adudu, in Obi Local Government Area of the state.
The controversy began when one Peter Igbacher, an ally of the commissioner lifted a story published in a newspaper captioned “2019: stakeholders plot against Al-Makura’s senatorial ambition” on his facebook page which generate reactions.
Tabulo allegedly accused Mr Akaaka of holding clandestine meetings with the Alagospeaking people to stop the senatorial ambition
Controversy has continued to trail the alleged brutalization of a staff of the Eko Electricity Distribution Company and the Police in Lagos, as the management of the company have vowed to fight the matter until justice was done to the case.
A staff of the company, Dele Ogundele, was brutalized by a police sergeant, Attah Aninoko, attached to a house reportedly owned by a former Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, located at Oniru Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.
While, the Police in Lagos had maintained that the matter was a minor disagreement between the policeman and the staff of the company, the company alleged that the victim, Ogundele, was actually dragged down from a pole in front of the former IGP’s residence by the sergeant while performing his lawful duty.
The Head, Corporate Communications of the company, Godwin Idemudia, said that management had officially written to the office of the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, demanding for a thorough probe into the matter. He stressed that attack on staff of the company by uniform men was becoming one too many.
According to him, defaulters in payment of electricity bills are usually those who live in highbrow areas and whose houses are guarded by heavily armed security men.
He explained that on October 19, 2017, the war against electricity theft by Eko Electricity Distribution Company yielded fruits when the company’s anti-energy theft crew uncovered another theft at Yomi of the governor in 2019.
He also commented against the commissioner for openly supporting Governor Umaru Al-Makura on facebook.
Some of the contributions which landed the teenager in detention read thus “TA’AL [Al-Makura’s nickname] is already declared as a winner in 2019, they can’t stop TA’AL to win 2019 senate, Tanko Al-Makura is our best candidate in 2019.”
However, the special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the state police command Monday afternoon acting on the instructions of the commissioner arrested and detained Tabulo for insisting on facebook that the Tiv people in Nasarawa South Senatorial District will vote massively for Al-Makura for senate in 2019, a development that did not go down well with the commissioner.
Shortly after he was released from detention, Tabulo who is the commissioner’s kinsman said his only offence was his open declaration for the senatorial bid of the Estate, Ajah Lagos, under the Ibeju Business District.
Idemudia said that just like those who reside at the former Inspector-General of Police home, the occupants of the 60-flats estate had pretended not to be connected to the company’s electricity supply network.
He said the estate was however drawing supply through an underground cable that was connected to a service point in an unoccupied one-storey building opposite the estate.
According him, the special antienergy theft crew swung into action after a tip-off from a whistle blower who informed the company’s officials on the energy theft in the estate.
On the alleged brutalization of the staff, Idemudia said that the team went on a revenue generating drive to recover “trapped” money.
He explained that the house of the governor against the wish of the commissioner.
“I never knew that SARS were tracing me all through until they arrested me and told me my offence that I commented on facebook, and that the arrest was on the order of the commissioner,” he explained.
However, when journalists visited the commissioner for comments, he regretted his action after he discovered that the person former IGP was discovered to owe a bill of N154, 693.85 stressing that the name on the bill was one Yusuf.
He said, “What we do is that anytime customers don’t respond and pay their bills, we go out with copies of their bills. When we get to their houses, we tell them what they owe and ask if they had made any payment in the last 24 hours. If they can’t produce any evidence of such, we disconnect their electricity.
“That was what we did in this case. We had two of our vehicles working in the area on that day. On getting to the house around 12noon, a man came out and we asked for evidence of payment because we discovered that the house owed over N154, 000. When he couldn’t produce it, we said we would disconnect the power. The man flared up.
“The mobile policeman came out and while our official was disconnecting the power from the pole, he ordered him to come down. In fact, he dragged the official down and beat him up. In the process, the official sustained a fractured limb,” he added
But the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Olarinde Famous-Cole, dismissed the claim of the company, saying that the staff did not sustain any broken limb.
Though, he said that the matter was being investigated, it was a minor infraction between the staff and the policeman in question.
Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police, Muhammed Uba Kura