Some local government areas in Ogun State yesterday accused the Ibadan Electric Distribution Company (IBEDC) of extortion and using soldiers to harass residents for electricity bill payments.
Some of the residents at Ado-Odo Ota, Ifo and Ewekoro as well as trade unions have filed a suit against the distribution company for what they called its injustice.
Championing the course, a rights group, Balance Measure Impact Initiative (BMII), filed the case on behalf of the residents.
It also charged the Army as co-respondents.
The group’s President Adedayo Komolafe said IBEDC had allegedly been extorting money from the residents and using soldiers to harass them to collect electricity payments.
He said: “They supply electricity of N100 and bring outrageous bill of N10,000. This has been their practice as they keep giving estimated electricity bills.”
The State Chairman of the group, Otunba Lukman Odewole, noted that despite the distribution company’s failure to install prepaid meters, it had resorted to violence against its consumers.
Odewole said: “Communities in Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area have recorded the highest number of inhumane cases.
“Normally, the electricity bill we pay covers expenses for the pole, meters and transformers. We don’t know why the distribution company is now charging us for prepaid meters separately.”
The District Coordinator of the three local government areas, Mr M. O. Adeyemi, said the residents were frustrated.
He said they had written several letters to IBEDC for prepaid meters but without getting any response.
The Zonal Chairman, Taiwo Ismail said the aggrieved residents decided to challenge the distribution company on its estimated billing and other acts of “modern slavery”.
A representative of National Union of Tailor, Comrade Toyin BabaJ?de, also said tailors in the local government were suffering because of the activities of the electricity company.
Mr Olusola Sufian, a representative of welders’ association, condemned the activities of the distribution company, saying its officials used soldiers to forcefully disconnect power supply.
The case was adjourned till January 30, 2018, following the absence of the respondents.