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Edo monarch fingers BEDC official, company denies involvement

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The traditional ruler of Ugbegun, His Royal Highness, Samuel Obade, has said the vandalisation of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company cable by one of the company’s engineers and others has thrown the community into the darkness for six weeks.

The traditional ruler lamented the suffering of the community due to the power outage occasioned by cable theft.

Obade said, “We have been mandated to defend our facilities in our domain and that we have always done. Sometimes in August, we increased our surveillance due to what we heard from neighbouring clans and we caught someone in the Ikiogbe substation but he ran away. We caught another person vandalising armoured cable at the substation and handed him over to the police.

“This last one that happened was one of the engineers in charge of the Igueben sub-station (name withheld). The vigilante caught him red-handed. A day before they saw him take a ladder from someone’s house, climb the high tension and loosen the cable with the pretence that he was clearing grass around the transformer.

“We have a force station in Ugbegun with over five staff and if he has no ulterior motive he should have asked the staff to come and clear the grass around the sub-station. The vigilante saw the engineer on a motorbike with a passenger holding the armoured cable. We called in the police but they have not done anything since then as we gathered that he has been released.”

The community also alleged that the action of the community leaders and vigilantes in apprehending the said BEDC staff and handing him over to the police was responsible for the reason the BEDC officials had remained adamant about restoring electricity to the peaceful agrarian community.

They noted that this had crippled business activities in the community, even as they called on the BEDC management and other relevant authority to come to their aid.

The Public Relations Officer of Benin Electricity Distribution Company, Evelyn Gbewen, when contacted denied knowledge of the incident, saying the company was yet to be briefed on the matter.

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