PHCN staff, contractor accused of extortion over electricity transformer

Electricity transformer25 April 2013, Abuja — RESIDENTS of Kubwa extension II, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja are presently up in arms against a contractor and a staff of the Power Holdings Company of Nigeria over an alleged ploy to deny the community a transformer after they had paid N3.4million for it.

The residents alleged that the contractor, Mr Chukwudi Chukwuleke, connived with his wife, Mrs Eyiuche Chukwudi, a staff of PHCN Kubwa, to extort them in the transformer installation deal.

In a Save Our Soul, SOS, petition to the Minister of Power and Steel, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Consumer Protection Council and Standard Organisation of Nigeria and the PHCN, the community accused the contractor of criminal breach of trust, intimidation and harassment by using the Nigeria Police Force, Kubwa, to threaten residents after installing refurbished and substandard transformer against the agreed specifications.

The community also alleged that the contractor’s wife had initiated a process to throw the community into darkness by disconnecting it from its power supply point, the Daughters of Charity Hospital, in order to force the community to buy a transformer from her husband.

According to the petition, the community after reaching an agreement with Mr. Chukwudi for supply of a transformer at the cost of N3.4 million, the contractor reneged on the agreement by supplying the community with a refurbished transformer after each of the residents was persuaded to contribute N30,000 to secure the transformer. Out of the N3.4 million, the contractor had so far received the sum of N2, 850,000.00 from landlords and tenants in that community.

The residents said they were shocked when Mr. Chukwuleke failed to supply them the specified 500KVA transformer as agreed, but opted to install a refurbished one that started supplying low voltage after two days of installation.

“The falsification of government record by a private firm, with the connivance of his wife who is a staff of PHCN, one Mrs Eyuiche Chukwudi of PHCN, Jiwa Service Centre, Kubwa Business Unit were tendered to the community as true certified copies of PHCN document,” they alleged.

The contractor was said to have removed the refurbished transformer on March 27, 2013 with an undertaken to replace it on or before April 7, 2013. As at the time of going to press, according to the community, the contractor has not replaced it. Rather than sticking to the agreement signed with the community, the contractor, according to them, on April 10 arrested the community chairman, Mr Kola Adebayo and the community secretary, Mr Ugochukwu Nnabugwu.
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*Caleb Ayansina, Vanguard

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  • The tales and commentary relating to, and coming out of the PHCN makes the case for its privatisation a more compelling one. We hope that all of this will become a thing of the past when the private entities that purchased the gencos and discos take off effectively.