A 29-year-old young man, identified as Calistus Iwuagwu has been sentenced to two years imprisonment, without option of fine, by Chief Magistrate E. U. Chinaka Esq., at the Ihitte-Uboma Magisterial District, Holden at Isinkwe, Imo State, for vandalizing armoured cables, property of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).
Calistus, who pleaded guilty as charged, has been sent to Okigwe Prison, where he is expected to serve his term. He was arraigned and charged under section 390(9) of the criminal code cap 30 vol. II laws of Eastern Nigeria, 1963, as applicable in Imo State.
EEDC head of communications, who confirmed the jail term, also told DAILY POST that a total of twenty one suspects were nabbed in the month of July, 2018, for vandalizing properties of EEDC across the South East.
“In Anambra State, the trio of Chigozie Okonkwo, Odinaka Iwuchukwu and Chineme Eke-Kalu were arrested for vandalising 300KVA Gabson II substation, located at MCC Road, Onitsha and the 500KVA substation located at Bishop Onyeabor Street, Onitsha.
“In Ebonyi State, Ogbo Samuel Onyema, Ugwu Igboke and Sunday Nwigwe were arrested for destroying Mgbom II 200KVA transformer located at Mgbom, Ugwulangwu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the state, while at Amana Village, Onueke in Ezza South Local Government Area, Nwankwo Chukwu and Nwaorie Chukwudo were arrested for vandalizing Onueke 300KVA substation. They equally admitted to being responsible for vandalizing Ameke village substation in the course of interrogation.
“Also at Umunaga village, Ohaozara, Abakaliki, Izuchukwu Okoro was arrested for vandalizing EEDC transformer; and Anthony Amadi, Oko Okechukwu and David Ibiam, were arrested for vandalising Ekoli Edda 300KVA, 33/0.415KV Substation; while John Uka was arrested for attempting to remove a 100KVA transformer at Mbukobe Ntezi Aba, Ebonyi State.
“In Enugu State, youths of Amaukwo community in Awgu Local Government Area, apprehended Chidera Nweke and Ozoemena Okeke for vandalizing a newly installed transformer which was awaiting commissioning; while Ifeanyi A. Onwuegbunam, in company of others currently at large, was arrested for vandalizing Umurah Ndeaboh Aninri 300KVA Substation. Also, Chizoba Akam, a native of Igbeagu Town, Izzi Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, was arrested for vandalising the intermediate cables from Mrs. Obiekwe Substation, Ugbene.
“In Imo State, Freedom Nboh, Joseph Naphas and Abel Ayuba, who hail from Plateau State were arrested for vandalizing Umugankwo 500KVA Substation at Uratta Owerri; while Atiku Adamu, who claimed to be from Adamawa State was arrested by some civil guards for vandalizing 11KV HT pole near MacDonald Akano substation, New Owerri,” Eze said.
He further stated that “these apprehended vandals were all handed over to the Police in the respective states for proper investigation and possible prosecution.”
The EEDC head of communications said it was worrisome that while the company “is striving to improve on its service delivery, some individuals that ordinarily should have been engaging in more productive activities resort to frustrating both the company and its customers.
“This singular act costs EEDC a lot financially, and end up subjecting our customers to a lot of inconveniences.
“We appreciate the various security agencies, vigilante groups and the Judiciary, for their support in apprehending these vandals and prosecuting them accordingly.
“We will not relent in this fight, and hope that this serves as deterrent to many others that are engaging in such activity.”