By Odinta Oluma Christiana
The Police have arrested 12 persons over alleged vandalism of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company’s (EEDC) cables and installations within the South-east.
The EEDC’s Head of Communications, Mr Emeka Ezeh, in a statement on Friday said the vandalism took place within the company’s areas of coverage in Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu States.
Eze also said the police had successfully prosecuted and secured the conviction of two persons, who vandalized its property.
He said that the vandals were apprehended “red-handed’’ through the instrumentality of various vigilante groups and police in communities within the zone.
“Onyedika Nwosu, Chizoba Ezedialu and Chinonso Ezenwaume were arrested by the Achina Community Vigilante in Anambra State for vandalising EEDC’s Sub-station, located at Oye Mraket in Achina, while Chidiebere Ezenwa and Obinna Ubah were arrested for receiving stolen properties of EEDC.
“The duo of Stanley Nwaemeka and Abumchukwu Nwele were arrested by the Umuogharu Community vigilante group in Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State for vandalising Okposi Umuogharu three Sub-stations and also carted away some armoured cables belonging to EEDC.
“At Umuchu community in Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State, one Maduka Udechukwu of Umumillo village, was arrested for vandalising aluminium bare conductors belonging to EEDC in Umumillo village.
“In a related development, one Damian Onu along with two members of his gang identified as Chinwendu Ebie and Kenechukwu Okoye were arrested for vandalising Ihie Ishiagu Community 500KVA Sub-station.
“While Ikechukwu Nwankpa was arrested by vigilante group for vandalising Water Works 160KVA Sub-station, located at Tipper junction, Awkunanaw community in Enugu South Local Government Area in Enugu State,’’ he said.
The spokesman said the arrested vandals had been handed over to police for interrogation, investigation and possible prosecution.
According to him, the current arrest is expected to reduce the increasing rate of vandalism in the areas.
Meanwhile, Ezeh said that the company had secured two convictions against persons, who vandalized its property within the past two weeks at a Federal High Court and a Magistrates’ Court in the zone.
“At the Federal High Court, Abakaliki; one Okechukwu Anoke, was sentenced to three years imprisonment by Justice Akintayo Aluko after he pleaded guilty for vandalising aluminium conductor cables of EEDC at Onicha Isu in Ebonyi State.
“In the same vein, one Matthew Moses, was sentenced to one year imprisonment by Mrs U.M. Ozoeze, Chief Magistrate Grade II, at Court 9, Enugu-North Magisterial District, Enugu State for receiving stolen property belonging to EEDC,’’ he said.
“We commend the efforts of the various vigilante groups, Army, police and civil defense for their unalloyed support in ensuring that these elements are apprehended and brought to book,’’ Ezeh said.