By Thompson ABISOLA
The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) on Friday said it had arrested seven suspected vandals in three states of the South-east.
EEDC’s Head of Communications, Mr Emeka Ezeh, said the suspects were arrested within one month, with the latest on Christmas day.
According to him, the vandals were arrested in Anambra, Enugu and Imo states, while carrying out their nefarious activities.
Ezeh said that one of the suspects, an electrician, at about 5:30 hours on Dec. 25 attacked a 300KVA distribution substation belonging to EEDC located at Ugwuagulu Obiofia, Ozubulu, Anambra.
“Luck ran out on him as an eyewitness who saw him leaving the scene on a motorcycle, reported the incident to the leadership of a local vigilance group.
“The suspect was eventually apprehended and he led the vigilance team to the very spot where he had buried the vandalised cables, in wait for the market so that he can hand the items over to a buyer.
“The vigilance group took him to the traditional ruler of the community from where he was handed over to Special Investigation and Prosecution Taskforce on Electricity Offences (SIPTEO),’’ Ezeh said.
The EEDC’s spokesperson added that another suspect, a native of Ikwo in Ebonyi State, was recently arrested for vandalising the Water Board distribution substation located at Victory Estate, Emene, Enugu State.
“In the course of interrogation, the suspect named the buyer of the vandalised items that operates at the Tinker Market, Coal Camp, Enugu.
“The suspect was immediately arrested by the Police,’’ he said.
The EEDC spokesman also said that in Ojoto, Anambra State, the vigilance group arrested a vandal for vandalising an injection substation, an NIPP project, located at Mmiri Ojoto area.
“In the course of interrogation, the suspect confessed to be responsible for the vandalised 200KVA transformer, property of EEDC, located at Iruebenebe Community, Ojoto.
“On account of police investigation, another gang member and a buyer were arrested along with a Volvo car with registration number XA 536 KLK, which they used for their operations.’’
Ezeh said that policemen attached to the Imo State House of Assembly overwhelmed the three-man gang of suspected vandals that vandalised the 500KVA and 11/0.415KV distribution substation located in the area.
“One of the gang members who sustained gunshot wounds is currently receiving treatment at the police clinic.
“Items recovered from the suspected vandals included: four pieces of single core copper cables, three pieces of 500mm and two single core copper cable measuring about 12 meters,’’ he said.
Ezeh added that efforts were on by policemen to arrest other fleeing gang members.
He, however, said the suspects were all handed over to the police command in the respective states for proper investigation and possible prosecution.