Three persons were on Thursday arraigned before the Magistrate Court, Ogba for attempting to vandalize Ikeja Electric’s 500KV Transformer at Orisunbare, Ayobo area of Lagos State.
The suspected vandals Sunday Olatunde, Michael Eyen and Aina Adebesin were apprehended on the 23rd May, 2017 at about 1.45am by the vigilante groups of Orisunbare Community Ayobo and handed over to the police.
They were arraigned before Magistrate Court Ogba before Mrs A.R Onilogbo on a three count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit felony; attempt to steal and vandalize Distribution Transformer cables and unlawful possession of dangerous tools/rubber gloves/criminal charms.
They pleaded “Not Guilty” to the 3-count charge brought against them and were thereafter granted bail on stringent conditions of N200,000 each with two Sureties each. The Sureties who must be blood relations of the accused persons must have evidence of two years’ tax clearance and verifiable office and residential addresses.
The accused persons were consequently remanded in Kirikiri Maximum Prisons pending the fulfillment of their bail conditions. The matter was adjourned to 19th June, 2017 for mention.
Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ayobo Police Station, Chief Superintendent of Police, Anyanwu Emeka Kingsley commended the efforts of the community in apprehending the suspects, noting that the support by vigilante groups in collaboration with Nigeria Police was an effective collaboration to curb crime in communities.
Prior to the arrest, about five transformers had been vandalized within the community including Igegu 200kva, Ibukun (Promise land 3) 300kva, Promise land 500kva and Baba Abu 500kva.
Lamenting on the rise of vandalism, Head, Corporate Communications Ikeja Electric, Felix Ofulue told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that the Company had suffered over thirty attacks on transformer Sub-stations within the last four months particularly in Igando, Ikotun, Akowonjo in Oshodi and Ayobo among other locations.
According to him, repairs on the vandalized assets were a huge drain on the business, not to mention a major setback for the socio-economic wellbeing for the local community.
Ofulue further urged residents to remain vigilant at all times and report any suspected persons tampering with electrical items in their neighbourhoods to the nearest police station.