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    NEPA staff gets 6-month imprisonment for unlawful disconnection

    A staffer of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Mr James Olayemi has been handed a six months jail sentence for unlawful disconnection of electricity supply to the premises of the company’s customer, Dennis Osanwuta.

    Chief Magistrate Tanko Muhammed delivered the judgement on Thursday August 12, and also ordered immediate reconnection of electricity supply to Osanwuta’s premises.

    The Magistrate who held that Olayemi was convicted and sentenced accordingly for violating various sections of the extant laws on electricity services, however, absolved the AEDC Regional Manager, Lameed Obadaki, the second defendant, of any complicity on the two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and unlawful disconnection.

    According to Muhammed, the disconnection offence was punishable under Section 94 and Section 5 of Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act, 2005 which provides that electricity consumers must be given maximum of 10 days for payment of electricity bills.

    Obadaki was discharged and acquitted by the Judge who said evidence presented in the case showed there was no link between him and the criminal activities of the first defendant.

    Olayemi was however given an option of a N50,000 fine. The Magistrate said; 

    “The EPSR also provides for a three-month written notice disconnection to a customer before AEDC can effect an impending disconnection.

    “In view of evidence before me, the complainant has not been given such opportunity; therefore, the first defendant is guilty as charged.

    “I hereby sentence you to six months imprisonment, with an option of fine of N50,000.”

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