By Ikhili Monday EBALU, Benin City
The Edo State Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on Monday said it was set for showdown with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company over alleged assault on one Innocent Okpara on the instruction of an expatriate working with the firm.
The rights activists in a statement endorsed by its spokesman, Comrade Osazee Edigin said: “two weeks ago, the BEDC disconnected a Nigerian by the name Innocent Okpara and the a White Man working with them ordered military personnel attached to him to assault him because he requested to have hold of his cables”.
Edigin further said: “We received his petition in our office, and the appropriate authorities were contacted to get justice for him.
“Afterwards, he made some payments of the money he was alleged to owe as he had contested the outrageous estimated bills served him by BEDC.
“Having collected his money and he expects to be connected, BEDC gave him condition to withdraw all his petitions against them and the White Man before reconnection.
“We have viewed this as intimidation, misuse of opportunity and oppressive which must not be allowed to stand.
“To this end, we are calling on all our gallant comrades far and near because BEDC should be made known that power belong to the people.”
However, the Head of Media, BEDC, Mr. Adekunle Tayo denied that its expatriate ordered the assault melted out on the customer.
He said its enforcement team had visited Evbuoriaria community wherein the group discovered that the said Innocent and others owed electricity bills.
Adekunle stated that the team also observed that the consumers were connected inspite of their outrageous debt.
According to him, whereas, the company’s policy is that any service wire disconnected would be withheld until the customer offset his debts.
He said after disconnection, the said Innocent wrestled with the security detailed to the expatriate in a bid to retrieve the service wire.