BY ABDULGAFAR OLADIMEJI, Kano
The members of staff of Kano Electricity Distribution Company,(KEDCO) have been arrested and taken into custody for disconnecting the flow of power supply to the state judiciary complex and official residence of the state chief judge.
The management of Kano Elecricity Distribution Plc. (KEDCO) Saturday describe the arrest of their staff as a flagrant apprehension, assault and illegal detention of their staff on the order of the Jigawa state Chief Judge, Aminu Sabo Ringim.
The Managing Director of the power distribution company, Mr.Jamilu Isiyaku Gwamna lamented that, the action is an infringement on the operational tights of the company, pointing out that the company conducts its activities in compliance with the set out rules governing its franchise in Kano, Jigawa and Katsina.
He stated that, Jigawa state judiciary fouled the laws regulating electricity supply and consumption by defaulting to offset its energy consumption bills
The Public Relations Officer of the company,PRO, Muhammad Kandi, disclosed that, a huge chunk of electricity consumers have defaulted, prompting the company to embark on the disconnection of power supply to those who fail to pay their bills.
He said the mass disconnection of defaulter is ongoing in Jigawa, Kano and Katsina,
Operation, disclosing that the Jigawa state judiciary is one of the defaulters and as handed the treatment been meted to all defaulters without bias.
He said “if those collecting revenue for the entire electricity value chain are being subjected to frequent harassment, intimidation and inhuman treatments by the law enforcement agents for dong their job, then the value chain may go bankrupt.”
He alleged that, Jigawa state chief judge vowed to order the detention of KEDCO staff , if they fail to restore power to his office and residence, on or before Monday next week.
Kande confirmed the temporary release of members of staff of the company, who were held in detention on the order of the state chief judge.
Kande said “One of our drivers, Alhaji Ibrahim Garba was violently abducted by some armed security operatives who appeared in the vicinity of our Jigawa south regional office in mufties, were said to have done that on the orders of the Chief Registrar in the office of the state Chief Judge, Musa Ubale.”
“The unsuspecting KEDCO personnel who was on his way out of the office premises, was hunted down, slapped, assaulted and handcuffed like a common criminal in the full glare of bewildered onlookers and other staff.”
“The Chief Registrar, was said to have ordered his security details to arrest and detain any identified KEDCO official, so they had laid ambush on the driver who had closed from work,” Kandi stated.
“the company like other DISCOs have a mandate to disconnect customers who have arrears of outstanding payment after they have been duly notified.
“the company will not be intimidated by any individual or organisation in carrying out its lawful duties. Non-payment of electricity bill makes it impossible for our company to meet several obligations including settling the MO bills, salary payment and other operational costs. When customers pay their bills promptly, the company will be able to serve them better.” Kande stated.
The spokesman ,Jigawa State Judiciary, Abbas Wangara confirmed the detention of a suspected conman, considered to be an impostor.
He said, “the person we arrested came in a private Gulf Car and with no KEDCO identification, he just commenced disconnection of the offices and houses of the judicial officers and we in trying to even help the company we arrested him and detained him.
Wangara noted that ,Dutse KEDCO Manager identified the suspect as their staff and the Judiciary did not hesitate in effecting his release.