Court Sentences Vandal Suspects to Prison as EEDC Grapples with Vandalism Crisis

A Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State, has handed down one-year prison sentences to Chinonso Chinaemelu, 27, and Okoye Christian, 20, for their involvement in vandalizing a distribution substation owned by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc (EEDC). The verdict was confirmed by Emeka Ezeh, Head of Corporate Communications at EEDC, in a statement released on Thursday.

According to Ezeh, Chinaemelu and Christian were apprehended by the Abatete local vigilante group on November 29, 2023, while attempting to vandalize the distribution substation in their locality. Additionally, Mr. & Mrs. Ebuka Umeh were arrested by the Isuorji community neighborhood security in Orlu, Imo State, after the wife was caught attempting to retrieve vandalized items from an EEDC distribution substation using their motorcycle.

Further incidents of vandalism were reported in Umunachi, Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State, where Chukwuebuka Ezike was apprehended by the Umuezinachi community neighborhood watch while cutting aluminum conductor around Orie Uguiri Market. Similarly, Amara Joseph Ajagbo was arrested in Amachi-Izhia, Ebonyi State, for vandalizing nine spans of aluminum conductors in their community.

Ezeh expressed concern over the increasing cases of vandalism within the EEDC network, noting that it poses a significant challenge to the company’s operations. Since January 2022, over 170 vandalism cases have been recorded, leading to the arrest of approximately 135 suspects, with more than 100 facing prosecution.

The EEDC reiterated its commitment to prosecuting arrested suspects and pursuing individuals involved in receiving vandalized items. Ezeh emphasized the financial strain caused by infrastructure restoration and the adverse impact on service delivery to customers.


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