Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) says it has arrested and handed over eight electricity installation vandals to the police for investigation and prosecution.
Its Spokesman, Mr Emeka Ezeh, told newsmen on Thursday in Enugu that the arrests were made possible with support by customers and other stakeholders in its franchise area in the Southeast.
“Within the last quarter of 2022, the EEDC records a daily average of attacks on three transformers in its franchise area. The vandals usually drain oil from the transformers,” he said.
Ezeh added that the company was seriously disturbed by the draining of transformer oil, subjecting the transformers to the risk of blowing up once supply was restored.
He explained that before now, vandals carted away armoured cables and conductors, but that recently, they drained transformer oil subjecting the transformers to great danger.
“Once vandalism happens, our customers are thrown into darkness; homes are affected, and businesses are affected too as losses are counted amid inconveniences that lack of electricity supply brings,’’ he said.
Ezeh added that at Ndiagbo Ofeke Ishieke in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi, a vigilance group arrested a vandal while ripping off aluminium conductors belonging to the EEDC.
He said that At Umuobia Olokoro, Umuahia, villagers arrested another vandal, also ripping off aluminium conductors in their community.
He said two other vandals were arrested by a vigilance group at Onuinyan village in Bende community in Bende Local Government Area of Abia for vandalising aluminium conductors.
Ezeh recounted that a 24-year-old native of Aguleri in Anambra East Local Government Area, was arrested by a vigilance group for vandalising a transformer located at Ozubulu community.
“Yet another vandal was arrested and his shuttle bus impounded by Ndiogbuonyeoma Ndiuche Arondiuzuogu Okigwe community vigilantes, for vandalising their electricity power line.
“Two others were arrested by indigenes of Amuzam in Ugbuawka community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State for vandalising five spans of high tension wires in their community,” he said.
Ezeh noted that vandalism of electricity facilities affected consumers and took its toll on the distribution company as money running into hundreds of millions of naira was required to restore vandalised equipment.
He said the EEDC had spent more than N300 million in 2022 to replace and restore vandalised facilities so as not to leave consumers in darkness.
“We appeal to our customers to be more vigilant and to safeguard electricity installations serving them so as not to be thrown into darkness in the Yuletide season.
“Customers are encouraged to regard themselves as part owners of the facilities, though they belong to EEDC.
“The installations are there to serve the public and once they are vandalised, consumers will remain in the dark until the attendant issues are addressed,” Ezeh said.