EEDC Boycotts Reps’ Summon To Public Hearing As Hon Okwara Tackles 5 Years Of Total Blackout.

by Amos Kalu
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By Odo Ijere

.. KUDOS AS HONORABLE IBE OKWARA OSONWA BEGINS TO TACKLE THE EEDC CANKERWORM.

Finally, the people of Ohafia Udumaeze, Abiriba, Mkporo, Abam Onyerubi, and environs breathed some fresh air as our rising star and one of the biggest catch of today’s 10th National Assembly, the people’s representative, Honorable Ibe Okwara Osonwa begins to drag, grill, disembowel and join issues with the atrocious, mendacious and incompetent Eastern Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC owned by one of Nigeria’s untouchable rabid capitalists, Chief Emeka Offor of Chrome Oil.

Chief Emeka Offor’s EEDC are known unrepentant outlaws since taking over the distribution of electricity power supply to the 5 Southeast states of Abia, Imo, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi states. Their impunity, lack of organization, and due process in handling their job has pitched them in dispute with many communities some of who are summarily disengaged from the power grid without recourse to any remedy. This is the case now with the aforementioned communities of Ohafia and environ which breach of their power supply for five years by EEDC is seen as inordinate and wholeheartedly exceeds the company’s boundary of lawful engagement.

IBE OKWARA OSONWA

The imposition of a power boycott of these geographical entity defined by the aforementioned areas of Ohafia etal for five uninterrupted years with no care of any consequences is ultra vires and not supported by the provisions of the privatization act of about 20 years ago. But the consequences has started rippling and exacerbating as this horrendous act by the EEDC has attracted the ire of the apex law making institution in the country, the National Assembly after receiving and adopting the petition from the Ohafia communities in plenary.

A public hearing was accordingly ordered by the National Assembly with much orchestration by the no nonsense Honorable member, Ibe Okwara Osonwa, the member representing Arochukwu and Ohafia Federal Constituency. But the people’s who also feels much of the pulse of his people is not relenting as he promises that no one’s ego will be massaged to bring the erring EEDC apostate to both moral and legal justice.

On issue is EEDC’s clamping of an illegal power supply boycott of Ohafia and environ, with demographic qualification of about 800,000 population, and with about 300,000 verifiable EEDC customers base who’s rights to be hooked to the National grid as enshrined in the provisions of the privatization act has been aggravatedly and grieviously violated by the five years of uninterrupted power blackout. The rights of these Ohafia consumers has suffered grave irredeemable damage and injustice.

But much expectedly, EEDC as the lawless organization that we all know them to be refused to show up at the public hearing who’s notice had been circulated and served for over a month with a flimsy excuse of missing their flights. It needs to be abundantly buttressed that this lawless fiefdom called EEDC has their operational head office at Lobito Crescent in Abuja, just about five minutes drive away from the National Assembly. Lobito Crescent also is the command and control center of their Czar and owner, Chief Emeka Offor from where all decisions are presumably taken as directed. So why ignoring the summons of the National Assembly.

By not sending someone from the organization’s operational base in Abuja to attend the public hearing attests to the contempt with which the owners of the company holds towards constituted authorities. EEDC and their owners are inadvertently telling the organizers of the public hearing or the National Assembly to go to hell.

This disdain for the public institutions and its laws were much expected from these lawless fiefdoms having been created in the first place by a privatization process that did not follow the due process of the law establishing the act. EEDC was a product of corruption in high places with zero creativity to deliver on the job which they promised to handle. The nation’s present handlers must exercise the strong will to revoke the privatization processes that created corrupt fiefdoms like EEDC in the power sector for the nation to move forward.

EEDC, a portfolio investor at the time of the privatization was hurriedly put together to be syndicated with the business of distributing electricity power supply to the five Southeast states under concession with no skill, no experience, no expertise and not even with the requisite proof of funds as they also failed to pay the necessary funds deposit in due time until they were corruptly rigged in as the preferred bidder. This unholy concession which has lasted for two decades now has to be stopped. They are selling us darkness in the Southeast instead of light.

We have heard so much already about how the Geometric Power Ltd that was in the business of power ventureship were suddenly edged out by corruption and power play under the nose of the former President Goodluck Jonathan and his Vice, Architect Namadi Sambo who presided over the sharing of the nation’s power assets to their friends and business associates. The rest is history.

But this emergency brief case preferred investor, EEDC has proved over the course of the last 20 years that they have no business at all handling the brief they carried in their briefcase before they were awarded winners of the power sector privatization process 20 years ago. They have breached all ethics and protocols of the terms of the privatization, from their inability to meter their customers, inability to service their customers, inability to update their infrastructure, inability to buy power from generating companies or Gencos to supply their customers, inability to maintain staff at their offices etcetera. Infact the Ohafia area office of the company was closed down since 2020 covid attacks.

EEDC

The only business that interests the EEDC apart from their monthly extortion of their unfortunate customers is going to pick up their own share of the Federal allocations of electricity subsidies being regularly doled out by the FG as palliative for the electricity subsector payable to the Discos. This subsidy claims once in their kitty is quickly shared among the owners and big boys in the organization without any impact whatsoever to consumers and then we begin again with new inventories of more excuses why there won’t be power supply coming. This fraud has got to stop.

While the only channel open to the National Assembly and their summons to EEDC should be to apply for a bench warrant on the Chief Executive Officer and management of the company, I want to strongly advise that we Ohafia people should explore the legal options by suing EEDC for N100 Billion damages on account of dereliction of their statutory responsibility of supply of power to our communities for five years which violates our group rights as a component of the federation and part owners of the assets before privatization. This legal action should also apply for a mandamus to force the EEDC to restore the light in the interim.

There’s no such thing as owing the company for N2.1 Billion Naira since un-metered billing had been outlawed by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission that monitors and regulates their activities. They are in breach of the terms of the concession agreement with the Federal Government in the first instance and so will not escape the long arms of Justice.

I am also believing that the Abia state government has a role to play in hemming in the EEDC to service the Abia consumers. Abia state government should as a matter of emergency migrate to a state law to generate, transmit and distribute power as many states are doing today by taking advantage of the new law by the federal government removing the power sector from the Exclusive legislative list to the Concurrent legislative list.

There must be conscious and deliberate efforts by the Abia state government to rescue Abians from the distructive dinosaur called Eastern Electric Distribution Company, EEDC. Once again, thank you Honorable Ibe Okwara Osonwa for your vicarious role in bringing this injustice to the National limelight and for a job well done.

Dr. Engr Odo Ijere.

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