Benin Electricity Distribution Plc. (BEDC) has further demonstrated its resolve to tackle electricity equipment vandalism as it recently prosecuted two cable vandals who were sentenced to six years imprisonment each without option of fine by the Edo State Division of the Federal High Court, Benin.
The two offenders, Lucky Obesewe and David John were accused of unlawfully tampering with electrical installation of BEDC located at Lucky Way, Ikpoba Hill, Benin City in February, this year, an act punishable under the Miscellaneous Offences Act M17 Vol 9 laws of the country.
Messrs Obesewe and David John were dragged to the Federal High Court by the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence department and punished with two year jail term each on a three count charge, even though their terms will run concurrently.
The convictions gave further boost to the current drive by BEDC and other distribution companies (Discos) to tackle vandalism of power sector equipment such as transformers, cables and other electrical installations even as the electricity supply industry grapples with a lot of challenges.
It will be recalled that BEDC in August arraigned four persons aged between 26 and 30 years in the Benin Division of the Federal High Court on a three count charge of damaging the company’s properties.
According to the charge sheet, the four persons allegedly committed the offence in Ighalo Irrua community in Esan Central Local Council.
CEO/Managing Director of BEDC had during the visit of the Senate Committee on Power last year advocated for a 25 year jail term for power vandals.
To demonstrate its readiness to eradicate vandalism of power equipment, the BEDC had earlier celebrated residents of Ughiyoko community in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area and hosted them with gifts presentation for arresting some vandals that attempted to vandalise the company’s transformers in their community.
The MD who said the community had imprinted its name among great communities worthy of emulation and should be celebrated by all and sundry.
It was further affirmed that the act of bravery displayed by the community’s youths made it imperative for BEDC to honour them with a token gift as appreciation, saying this will encourage other communities to see the company’s investments in their domains as theirs to protect and secure.