Abuja residents protest extortion, mass disconnection by AEDC
Electricity consumers in Chibiri, Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have written a protest letter to the Consumers Protection Council (CPC) over alleged excesses of men of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) who were reportedly extorting money from them and throwing into darkness those who refused to cooperate by disconnecting them.
The accusation was contained in a petition by the Chibiri community addressed to both CPC and the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for intervention.
The petition which was sighted by Bar and Bench Watch was signed by the chairman of the community, Alhaji Ibrahim Sani Chibiri and secretary, Mr. Samuel Etsu Eto.
According to them, some staff of the AEDC, led by a man whose name was simply given as Ahmed, have allegedly been extorting money from the consumers without remitting it to the company even as they still go ahead to disconnect the same consumers.
The petition stated that Ahmed and his men have virtually gone haywire, disconnecting several houses, including the ones whose occupants either paid their bills up to date or are paying substantial part of the bills as well as those who have pre-paid metres, along with a few people that are owing the company.
It said that the excuse Ahmed and his team gave was that those who are not owing AEDC should now be doing the job of the staff by mounting pressure on those who are not paying their bills to do so.
“Sir, this is contrary to your Commission’s rule that no customer who has been paying his bills should be mixed up with those who are not paying bills for the purpose of ‘illegally’ disconnecting everybody on sight.
“AEDC is now telling the consumers that are paying their bills that they don’t deserve to enjoy what they are paying for, or it is visiting the sins of those who are not paying on the ones that have been paying.
“We therefore appeal to you to save us from the hands of Ahmed and his team who have constituted themselves into agents of darkness and doubly punishing innocent ones who deserve to enjoy the fruit of their labour, having paid their bills or are servicing their debts.”
When contacted on phone, the Area Manager of AEDC, Hajiya Jummai Sulaiman, confirmed that there was a mix up in the mass disconnection which included the customers that are paying their bills and promised to rectify the anomalies.
However, as at the time of going to press, the Area Manager had not lived up to her words.
Ahmed is said to have been boasting that he would not reconnect the residents that are paying bills “until those who are not paying do so.”