The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Ernest Mupwaya, has appealed to power users to avoid tampering with meters or engaging in other related offences.
Mupwaya said anyone caught perpetrating such acts could face stiff punishment and jail sentences after prosecution.
Commenting on the recent decision of the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to designate certain judges to handle electricity-related matters, the AEDC boss stated that it was imperative for power consumers, especially those in the FCT to desist from engaging in any form of electricity offence.
Mupwaya said, “We are privileged to know that the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello, has designated two High Court judges and five magistrates within the territory to handle electricity-related matters. This, we understand, is with a view to speeding up the process of dispensation of justice.
“With this development, it is important for us to advise our customers to desist from committing any act that will make them fall on the wrong side of the law. In the past, people believe that they can always get away with whatever they do because the process of justice dispensation was slow.”
He added, “However, with this approval by the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, cases are likely to be treated expeditiously, and any customer who falls short of the law could face huge consequences, including jail terms, fines and other forms of punishment.”
Mupwaya, who spoke at the closing ceremony of a six-week training programme on a new scheme, called Integrated Commercial Management System, noted that the benefits of the InCMS included features that would promote customer-centric culture in the company.
He stated that the first set of trainees would be involved in the implementation of the new scheme and were also expected to train other staff members for the InCMS project.
Mupwaya regretted the huge loss of resources to vandalism, stressing that such acts also resulted in hours or days of outages within affected communities.
In May last year, the AEDC and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation entered into a partnership to fight electricity theft within the company’s area of operation, which comprises FCT, Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger states.
This followed the approval of a special task force for investigation and prosecution of electricity theft cases under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice