By Joe Favour,
A High Court Judge sitting in Court 2, Asaba, Hon Justice T. O. Diai has restrained the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) from disconnecting the source of electricity of consumers in Oduke Phase 2 over non payment of estimated bill, otherwise known as crazy bill.
This order is sequel to a motion of interlocutory application filed by the claimants counsel Barr. C. C. Uwakina.
BEDC has said to have sent estimated bill of over 2 million naira to the community, insisting that the community must pay the bill or risk disconnection.
All efforts by the leaders of the community to make peace with the company prove abortive.
Consequently, the community briefed their lawyer C. C. Uwakina of counsel to challenge the legality of estimated bills as routinely given to them by the distribution company.
While challenging the legality of BEDC to send bills to the community without meter and any known justifiable assessment basis, the claimants counsel filed a motion on notice urging court to restrain the defendant, BEDC from disconnecting the light of the community pending the determination of the substantive suit.
Haven listened to arguments from counsel to both parties, the court ruled in favour of the claimants.
While granting the application the court said ” I have gone through the affidavit in support of this application and the written address of the counsel for the applicants and I am satisfied that the averments in the said affidavit satisfy the above requirements and therefore sufficient to warrant the exercise of the courts discretion in the applicants’ favour. In the result, the application succeeds and is granted”.
In a similar development, the Asaba Forum of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has ordered BEDC to immediately reconnect Maabovil Community within the Asaba Metropolis back to power within 72 hours.
This decision is as a result of the petition filed by the counsel to the community Barr. C. C. Uwakina challenging the powers of BEDC to disconnect the community from source of power on account of refusal to pay estimated bills.
The Benin Electricity Distribution Company is said to have disconnected the entire community on account of non Payment of estimated bills.
Having listened to the arguments of counsel to the community and that of BEDC, the Commission’s panel led by its Forum Chairman Hon. Okolie Peter Isioma, ruled in favour of the Community and Ordered BEDC to reconnect the community back to power within 72 hours. The Commission also ordered that residents of the community be metered individually.
As at the time of filling this report, BEDC has restored light back to the community.