Crazy Bill: Civil group, Ikeja Electric fight dirty over plan to picket office, illegal arrest, extortion

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The management of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company has disagreed with plans by a civil group in Lagos State, Save Lagos Group (SLG) in collaboration with some customers in the state, to picket their offices across the state over alleged insensitivity to the plight of customers such as crazy bill, extortion and illegal disconnection.

The group alleged that the irresponsible staff of IKEDC were causing disaffection between their customers and distribution company by misinforming the management against their customers.

It also accused the IKEDC of illegal arrest of their customers across the State over frivolity and minor issues on customers’ relations and subsequently sending few of the customers to prison as a way to stop customers from speaking against the crazy bill, extortion, poor relations with customers, illegal arrest and other anti-customer actions of their officials.

It recalled that the group had earlier written to the IKEDC on many occasions over the germane issues affecting their customers’ plights which lead to the meetings with the management of the IKEDC some time ago but it seems some of its officials were not ready to change from their cruel tendencies.

Speaking against the background that the three customers of IKEDC who were complaint of crazy Bill, extortion and illegal disconnection of their electricity at their resident in No 8, Temidire Estate, Avenue ‘A’, Adamo/Araromi Town, off Imota road, Ikorodu were illegally arrested on frivolity.

It stressed that Alhaji Okiki Akinola with Phone Number- 08037066249 and two of his sons were illegally arrested by the officials of the IKEDC attached to Ibeshe/Alogba sub-office led by one Adesanya with phone number-08034819107 on 25th May, 2019 and detained at Imota Police station and subsequently charged before Agbowa Magistrate Court division and the case thereby adjourned till December 2019.

The three defendants were given bail on the subject matter, following the bail application of their lead Counsel, Barrister Omojuwa with Phone Number-08142107078, urging the court to temper justice with mercy.

In a signed statement by the SLG’s Convener, Comrade Adeniyi, Alimi Sulaiman and copies were made available to newsmen, accusing the electricity providers of shortchanging their teeming customers which it could not be tolerated any more.

The rights activist who condemned in its entirety, the action of IKEDC, disclosing that they would not fold their arms and allow illegality to thrive in our society.

Sulaiman who doubles as Executive Chairman Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ), maintained that customers were the kings to the service providers and they should be treated as such.

He listed some of the area affected by the unpleasant action of officials of IKEDC were as follows; Imoota, Baiyeku, Adamo, Igbogbo, Araromi, Ogijo, Oreta, Offin, Temidire, Baiyeku, Awesu and Abosan.

He therefore added that the groups of like minds would meet this week to fine-tune the strategy to address the issue frontally with the next available option of picketing the offices of the IKEDC.

The Head Corporate Communications, Ikeja Electric, Mr Felix Ofulue said the allegations raised by the group are largely misconstrued. According to him, Ikeja Electric, the Disco placed a lot of value on customer satisfaction, that is one of the reasons.

“However, it is pertinent to clarify that in cases of misdemeanors, we have no choice than to resort to law. You can’t dismiss a situation where our employees are attacked as frivolous. In the cases that have been mentioned by the group, our staff were attacked with intent to maim and these are clearly documented with the law enforcement agents. We appreciate our customers and remain committed to delivering value and the type of experience that will endear them to us,”he said.

Ofulue said the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme recently introduced by NERC is focused on addressing the metering gap and this should put an end to estimated billing. He urged unmetered customers to take advantage of the scheme by visiting map.ikejaelectric.com to apply for meters.

He added: “We further wish to reiterate that we have put mechanisms in place for aggrieved customer to seek redress. So rather than resort to violence against our staff, customer are advised to use the channels to resolve their complaints. Ikeja Electric is committed to safety of lives of its staff and will not hesitate to explore legal options to address threat to lives of staff.”

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