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[PHOTOS] IKEDC: Lagos residents protest estimated billing, members’ arrest

Some residents in Lagos State’s Oko-Oba area gathered on Wednesday to protest what they called indiscriminate disconnection and estimated billing by the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company.

They are also protesting the arrests of two members of the community, Imam Fatai Shaheed and Odewale Jamiu, whose arrests were allegedly initiated by the IKEDC’s Oko-Oba unit. They are currently gathered at the Abbattoir Police Station in the area, demanding the release of the two detained individuals.

The Oko-Oba community had been at loggerheads with the Ikeja DisCo over issues of estimated billing before now. In June 2022,residents under the aegis of Oko-Oba/Orile Development Union, also trooped out in protest against similar issues, saying they were not ready to make further payments for electricity if they were not provided with prepaid meters.

Speaking to newsmen on Wednesday morning, one of the residents, Funmi Ajayi, alleged that the police were harassing their members because of estimated billing. 

“They’re giving us estimated billing. A house was given N160,000 in a month, another house was given 120,00 in a month. We were rejecting and assisting it. Due to this, our comrades were arrested in the mosque early this morning!” she exclaimed.

Another resident, identified simply as James, said the DisCo began disconnection of lights to some houses on Tuesday when they couldn’t meet the estimated bills.

“They (the DisCo) called a meeting and complained that we were supposed to generate N90 million for them but we were only to able to pay N50 million and that they would start disconnection. They came to disconnect the exact power poles of the organisers in the community. There was an altercation between some of them, suddenly they brought a Mobile Policeman from Alimosho to Oko Oba. 

“The policeman brought out his gun. He shot in the air,” James said. 

He added that during an altercation which ensued at the point of disconnection, on Tuesday, an official of the IKEDC had assaulted one of the residents. He claimed that the official also faked to have fainted and was thereby taken to the hospital. 

“This morning, as early as 5:30 am, the Divisional Police Officer of Abbattoir Police Station went to mobilise his men to arrest one Alfa and Jamiu.

“The community is now protesting at the station and from there, they will go and shut down the office at Emmanuel, Oko Oba,” he said.

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