From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
One Friday Ogbonna has been arrested while tampering with the Port Harcourt Electrical Distribution (PHED) network in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The suspect was arrested yesterday by surveillance team in Port Harcourt on routine duty at G .U. Ake Road, along Eneka Road, Port Harcourt.
He was subsequently accosted and handed over to the Mini Okoro Police station, where he is helping the police in investigation to identify other accomplices in their illegal journey.
It would be recalled that the management of the PHED, had recently, warned members of the public in its franchise area [Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states] not to access its network without authorisation.
In a statement in Port Harcourt, the Manager, Corporate Communications, John Onyi said that the management has set up surveillance teams across the four states to ensure that no unauthorised individual infiltrates into its network without following the due process.
The warning, according to the statement, is coming on the heels of established/witnessed cases of unauthorized access to PHED’s network by some individuals claiming to be electrical contractors without recourse to safety standards/ implications and in addition overloading the existing infrastructure.
“Henceforth, anyone caught in our network shall be prosecuted”, the statement warned.
The statement also noted that “PHED has been facing immeasurable business challenges stemming from vandalism, energy theft, staff brutality, non-payment of electricity bill by some customers who erroneously believe that electricity is free, illegal connection to the network, among others.
“But in all these challenges, PHED is determined in delivering safe and reliable power supply to customers in its franchise area”.