A 22-year-old man, Oluwadamilare Temenu, has reportedly stabbed a technician with the Ikeja Electric, Oluwaseyi Amao, for disconnecting power supply to his residence at No. 13 Adesanya Street, in the Mafoluku area of Oshodi, Lagos State. Amao and his colleague, Yusuf Tunde, had acted on a disconnection order by the management of Ikeja Electric, an electricity distribution company, which had marked some flats in the building for disconnection over unpaid bills, when they were attacked.
Amao, who said he gave the residents a month’s grace to pay their outstanding bills, added that he was surprised that one of them would attack him for disconnecting power supply to his apartment despite owing over N300,000.
The 42-year-old technician said, “We were given a disconnection order to execute at No. 13 Adesanya Street, Mafoluku, Oshodi, last Thursday. The building has four flats; one flat has a prepaid meter, while the remaining three are on estimated billing; but we were given a disconnection order on the two flats with over N200,000 and N100,000 debts, respectively.
“Before that day, I had visited the house for disconnection last month and one of the residents, the one using prepaid meter, had pledged to speak with the others to pay their debts, because it was only one wire that supplies power to the four flats. If we cut off the wire, the whole flats will be affected, including the one with prepaid meter, but they still refused to pay.
“So, on the day I was instructed to execute the disconnection order, I explained to the residents, including the guy who stabbed me, that I was there the previous month and that since they had refused to clear their outstanding bills, I had been instructed to disconnect power supply to their apartment. He never argued with me, but I was surprised that he said I was looking for trouble when he saw me climbing the pole.
“All of a sudden, he went inside his flat, brought out a crate of bottles and broke two bottles. I quickly jumped down and he chased after me and stabbed me. He first stabbed me in the neck and head; to avoid more harm, I held him tightly and told my colleague, Tunde, to inform our other colleagues to bring a vehicle so that we could take him to the police station.”
His other colleagues eventually brought a vehicle, which conveyed Temenu to the police station.
An eyewitness, Segun Gbenro, said residents of the area condemned Temenu for stabbing Amao while performing his duty.
“About two weeks ago, he (Temenu) had a fight in the area and he stripped himself naked. He had no reason to stab the IE official; even the people he lives with faulted his action and other residents of the area also condemned his action,” he stated.
The Public Relations Officer, Ikeja Electric, Felix Ofulue, who condemned the attack, said the firm would explore all necessary means to bring to justice any person or group, who took the law into their own hands by inflicting bodily harm on its officials when performing their duties.
Ofulue stated, “We strongly condemn the rising spate of attacks on our employees. It is simply unacceptable that they should be attacked while carrying out their legitimate duties.
“As a responsible organisation, we have provided multiple redress channels through which customers can express themselves. Even the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has provided a forum for dissatisfied customers to further seek resolution. So, to brutally attack our people in this manner displays total disregard for humanity, a situation that we will not take lightly.
“Our commitment to providing our customers quality service is sacrosanct; however, Ikeja Electric will spare no resources to bring to justice any person or group of persons who take the law into their hands by inflicting bodily harm on any of its employees. We will go as far as the law permits as we are duty bound to do.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, said the case was being investigated, adding that the suspect would be charged to court soon.
“Some IE officials went to that location to disconnect those that owed them and in the process, a young man attacked them and injured one of them. The case is being investigated by the Makinde Police Station and the suspect will be charged to court soon,” Oti stated.