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Ikeja Electric sues some of Lagos residents

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Two residents of the community, Imam Fatai Shaheed and Odewale Jamiu, according to their counsel, Lawrence Irabor, were charged with four counts, “bordering on conducts likely to cause breach of peace, conspiracy to obstruct personnel of the Ikeja Electric to carry out their duty, and assault,” at the Samuel Ilori Court House, Ogba.

The lawyer said the two were granted bail, however, efforts to perfect their bail conditions couldn’t be completed on Tuesday, and they were thus, remanded at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison.

The PUNCH reported that residents had trooped out, last Wednesday, to protest what they described as indiscriminate disconnection and estimated billing, allegedly by the DisCo, and for the release of the arrested two.

Speaking on the case, the lawyer said, “It was the Ikeja Electric that went to make the report. The matter ought to have been settled amicably but because of their interest, marginalisation and costly bills they’re bringing to the community, and so that anybody will not rise up to challenge them, that is why they’re doing all of that.

“If they’re going for their routine collection, they always go with policemen,” Irabor said, adding that in one of the occasions, the residents were shot at.

“The court granted both of them bail but the perfection of the conditions of the bail was what we couldn’t do, so they took them to Kirikiri.” Lawrence decried the activities of the DisCo.

The residents, who also demonstrated outside the court premises, held placards that bore inscriptions like: ‘Ikeja Electric sues Lagos residents, two remanded is scam’, Say no to estimated billing’, and ‘We don’t want Ikeja Electric again’, among others.

They are trying to suppress us, they said they have money to spend. The whole community has now been put in total darkness for no reason, including those that have prepaid meters,” a resident, James Joel, told The PUNCH.

The matter has been adjourned till November 15.

In June, 2022, the Business Manager of the unit, who identified himself simply as Abayomi, while addressing protesters, had said that the problem facing the residents could only be resolved by the provision of prepaid meters which were promised by the government.

He said, “Before now, for about one and half years, the government gave us prepaid meters, and they promised they would provide others, you all read it on pages of the newspapers. We gave out the ones they gave us, ever since then, no meter came.”

Abayomi also said he had had an earlier discussion with the representative of the community, where he had suggested another solution to the problem, by ensuring that they would be taking the meter reading from the transformer together with the community’s representative.

We said we will continue with the estimation and that it will be fair. We have a meter on our transformer,  and we both agreed that we will be taking the reading together and be sure the billing we are giving is not out of estimation.

“The issue will be resolved once the consumers get their prepaid meter,”  he said.

However, till now, the residents of Oko-Oba community and the Ikeja Electric have been at loggerheads.

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