Two persons who were paraded by the Nigerian Service Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), last month, for vandalizing electricity distribution transformers belonging to Ikeja Electric Plc.
A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday sentenced them to two years in prison with hard; for vandalizing a transformer at Oshodi.
The vandals, Mayowa Adedoyin and Yemi Aina were sentenced after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy, vandalism, and theft brought against them before Justice Abdulaziz Anka.
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) told the court that the convicts vandalized the transformer and stole core cables valued at N500,000 from an Ikeja Electric Plc transformer at Oshodi.
The offence contravened Section 3(6) and punishable under Section 1(9) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Consequently, Justice Anka sentenced them to two years in prison with hard labor.
Reacting to the judgment, Ikeja Electric’s Head of Corporate Communications, Felix Ofulue said the punishment would serve as a deterrent to would be vandals.
He commended security agencies for rising up to the occasion, adding that the company would continue to prosecute vandals and all other perpetrators of criminality within its network, as prescribed by law.
He said: “One of the biggest challenges facing the electricity sector is vandalism and theft of electricity equipment. Other issues like energy theft through meter bypass and illegal connections as well as violence against our staff in some communities also jeopardize our efforts to provide adequate and seamless electricity supply to our responsible paying customers.
“However, we are tackling these challenges one after the other. With the support of our security agencies and the judiciary, we are confident that we would surmount the problems.”
Ofulue noted that the spate of vandalism in IE network was becoming alarming, as over 50 transformers were recently vandalized especially in Oshodi Business Unit.
He appealed to residents and communities to assist the company to monitor electrical equipment in their areas and avoid the use of quacks and unauthorized personnel to carry out repairs, connections, and reconnections.