Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
The Federal Government, through the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Etsu Mohammed, on Wednesday inaugurated the Enugu Zone of the Special Investigation and Prosecution Task Force on Electricity Offences.
According to the DPP, the task force is to deal with “the menace of electricity theft and vandalism of electricity distribution assets in the South-East zone,” which is the coverage area of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company.
While inaugurating the 18-man task force on Wednesday, Umar said the growing menace of electricity theft in the area of coverage of the EEDC “has contributed immensely to the economic challenges that the power sector has faced over time in the South-East zone.”
On the mandate of the task-force, the DPP said, “Although SIPTECO is charged with the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting all electricity theft cases, you are also enjoined to make other recommendations to me and the management of the EEDC and make use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in appropriate cases.
“Bear in mind that the overall objective of your mandate is to prevent electricity theft, prosecute cases and recover lost revenue.”
He noted that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), had earlier approved the setting up of a similar task force for the catchment area of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company.
He said the said task force was inaugurated on May 2, 2017.
Speaking at the event on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, Emeka Offor, and the acting Managing Director of the company, Paul Okeke, noted that the major electricity crimes in the South-East included illegal connections, meter cloning and meter bypassing.