A man walks past electricity pylons as he returns from work in Soweto, outside JohannesburgVandals have damaged electrical installations worth millions of naira in Cross River State, Public Affairs Manager of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), Mr Frederick Obi, has said.

Obi, who said this in Calabar when the state command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) paraded seven suspects alleged to have  vandalized electrical installations in the state, disclosed that the damage is responsible for outages experienced in PHEDC business district in Calabar and its environs.

The activities of vandals have stalled the firm’s effort at sustaining power distribution in the state, he said.
He expressed happiness at the timely intervention of the NSCDC, hoping that this would help to curtail the menace of their activities.
Speaking, State Commandant of NSDC Dr. Benito Eze, said the vandals were caught in the act on November 30, at various locations in the state.

“We were able to arrest three of the vandals through a tipoff by residents of the area. They were caught red-handed and further investigation revealed that they function as a cartel and there are people who encourage them to steal and sell to them,” he said.
Among the seven suspects were, Basil Okonkwo who specializes in buying stolen cables, Etim Effa, a fraudster, who impersonates staff of PHEDC and collects electricity bills from unsuspecting victims.

He said also that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.


[Daily Trust]