Worried by the increasing rate of energy theft, especially in the South-East Zone, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, has commenced measures to get the judiciary and the security agencies involved in checkmating the menace. The rampant cases of energy theft and vandalism of power facilities formed a major part of discus at a seminar organized by the Enugu Disco, weekend, for judicial officers, tagged ‘Judges Seminar.’ Speaking at the event, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati tasked judicial and law enforcement officers on the need to check rampant energy theft and vandalism in the electricity sector.
The seminar was themed; “Prosecution of Energy Theft, Allied Offences and Industry Related Litigation’’. The Chief Judge noted that vandalisation, theft and sometimes unauthorised access to electricity facilities were the common threats in the sector. He noted that these could be a source of economic distress to the country that had been trying so hard to improve its power delivery. According to him, importantly, if the judiciary is not expediently proactive, criminals will continue to exploit the vulnerable aspect of the system and other critical infrastructure.
SERAP sues Fashola over rogue electricity contractors – NAN
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued the Minister of Power, Works and Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola to force him to disclose the contractors who collected huge money for electricity projects from 1999 till present but did nothing. In the suit number FHC/L/CS/105/19 filed at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, SERAP is seeking an order directing or compelling Fashola to provide specific details about the contractors.
The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information request dated 4 January, 2019 giving Mr Fashola 14 days to publish “the names of all contractors and companies that have been engaged in the power sector since the return of democracy in 1999 to date, details of specific projects and the amounts that have been paid to the contractors and companies, details on the level of implementation of electricity projects and their specific locations across the country.”
The organization said: “publishing the names will make it hard for contractors and companies to get away with complicity in grand corruption. The citizens have the right to see that the Freedom of Information Act is enforced where there is an infraction of the right to information or a threat of its being violated, in matters of public interests.”
“By compelling Mr Fashola to name the contractors and their registration details, if any, Nigerians will be better able to hold them to account for allegedly absconding with public funds meant for electricity projects” read the suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its counsel, Adelanke Aremo.