07 January 2014, Kano: A Magistrate Court in Kano State has sentenced three accused vandals to four years imprisonment each, after they pleaded guilty to the charges of “mischief in relation to electricity contrary to, and punishable under section 334 of the Penal Code Law of Kano State and “theft, contrary to section 286 and punishable under section 287 of the said law.”
While delivering judgment at the Magistrate Court 6, Gidan Murtala Kano, Justice Kabara described the crime committed by the vandals as heinous, based on the implications of vandalism of electricity installations in the country.
The judge noted that the Jogana Injection Substation, which belongs to Kano Electricity Distribution Company was supplying electricity to many industrial, commercial and residential customers along the Hadejia road axis, including Tokarawa Industrial Layout, Gunduwawa and Jogana.
He said the ripple effects of the vandalism were better imagined than experienced because of the colossal loses recorded during the incident.
The three suspects were Messrs Monday Okon, a resident of Brigade Quarters, Saidu Adamu of Sharada quarters and John Okah, a resident of Abeokuta road, Sabon Gari, Kano, while two others were still at large. Those at large are one Emeka alias “Akuya” and Ahmadu Sharada.
They were arraigned on December 24, 2013 and the prosecution counsel was the legal officer of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Mr. Aminu Hussein, who reviewed the facts of the case to the court prior to the judgment.
While presenting exhibits, the prosecuting counsel said the accused persons attacked the Jogana Injection sub-station in the early hours of November 18, 2013, overpowering the security guards on duty, tied their arms and gagged their mouths before looting the substation.
Items carted away by the gang included 500mm2single core armoured cable of about 360m length, six cable locks, nine radio protective batteries, three mobile phones and one Nile sat receiver.
All the carted items valued at about N2 million have been recovered from the culprits, while the Managing Director of the Company, Dr. Gwamna had ordered the immediate rectification of the vandalised sub-station to bring succour to the affected customers.
He urged the general public to be vigilant and to guard their neighbourhoods’ electricity installations jealously by quickly reporting suspicious movements to the security agencies closest to them.
Gwamna also commended the effort of the NSCDC officials in the arrest of the vandals, the recovery of the vandalized items and the quick dispatch of the case as expected.
Meanwhile, the management of Kano Electricity Distribution Company has warned customers in Kano, Jigawa and Katsina States, who were using pre-payment meters (both Phase 1 and Phase 3) types to desist from tampering with their meters by bypassing the meters to avoid paying for the electricity they had consumed.