A group of civil rights advocates comprising of Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, Executive Director to Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development (FENRAD), Okoye, Chuka Peter of Center for Human Rights Advocacy & Wholesome Society (CEHRAWS), Comrade Nnamdi Elekwachi, a political analyst/media representative and Ogolo Blessing Deborah, have accused the staff of Aba Power Limited Electric Company (APLE) of inciting mob action targeted at them.
The rights group said they had embarked on an official visit with some members of the Aba Power Limited Electric Company (APLE), to collectively ascertain the truth about an electricity installation allegedly mounted on a client’s property which is posing serious threat to lives and properties somewhere along Pepple’s Road, off Ogbor-Hill, Aba, Abia State.
The joint investigation, according to the rights group was fixed by the said energy company and mutually agreed upon by FENRAD for a thorough appraisal, scheduled for Friday, 26th August, 2022.
In a press statement signed by Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, Executive Director of FENRAD, stated that the group was notified of the issue, after series of complaints to Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), and subsequently Aba Power Limited Electric Company (APLE) by the electricity consumer, whose Right of Way an electrical installation was wrongly placed on, thereby posing a serious risk to the client’s life, that of her family members and properties, including some gullible close neighbours.
FENRAD further stressed that this installation was done during the operation of the Enugu Electric Distribution company (EEDC), although by the provision of the relevant extant laws, APLE’s acquisition of the aforesaid company led to their inheritance of all responsibilities and benefits which led to the continuation of this process for their intervention in relocating the said installation to save lives and properties of the complainant, that of her family members and their gullible neighbours.
It was gathered that FENRAD’s series of correspondence with the energy company (APLE) gave birth to the aforesaid official visit. At the installation site where the Assessment was meant to take place, FENRAD noticed that APLE team assigned for the joint investigation has already informed suspected occupants of the area and other unknown group numbering up to 50, who has already led siege, waiting for the arrival of the APLE team for a signal to scuttle the said assignment and possibly lynch on the rights group.
Although, we learnt that at the initial stage, the civil rights group were not frightened because they believed that APLE would not stoop so low, until things began to unfold.
Nevertheless, before the business of the day, the civil rights group first had to enquired from someone amongst the suspected occupants, their reasons for coming around, fuming in anger and ready for war; “Do they plan to attack the APLE people?” “No, he said and went on to explain that they were summoned by the APLE to stop some persons who want them to get the said neighbourhood disconnected from electricity supply”.
Without relenting, the civil rights group asked the APLE team (Uyo Ini, Nonyelum Okere and Co) to before them, measure the 7 meters gap meant to be between a premises and such electrical installation?. And in addition, present the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) which approved the location of the said installation.
Unfortunately, the leader of the APLE team, tactically deviated from providing answers to the aforesaid questions and dishonestly incited the said suspected occupants against the civil rights group.
Trying to convince them that the request made above by the rights group and the complainant was aimed at pushing them (APLE) to disconnect the entire neighbourhood from electricity supply which would take a very long period to restore.
It was learnt that the said inciting words of the APLE team leader, got the alleged occupants highly infuriated, to the extent of committing affront against the rights group, molested them and attempted to grossly attack them physically, before they tactfully escaped from the said hostile environment with the said complainant.
Subsequently, it was gathered that such attack had been initiated in the past against the complainant by supposed APLE officials, whose machineries succeeded in gaining access into her premises in a nauseating conduct with the aim to harm her and any of her family member(s) in sight.
One of the High-Tension Poles was also bruised by some thugs led by Christian Obinze Cookey and one man called Garuba which was rumoured to serve as an evidence they plan to use in nailing the said complainant and as well discourage her from taken further action against the said installation, since the complainant has failed to relent despite all their previous threats and intimidation.
Apparently, she (the said complainant) was attacked by unknown persons at same neighbourhood some days later after the foiled joint investigation, orchestrated by the two (2) young men mentioned above.