17 September 2015, Abuja – The Consumer Protection Council has announced the commencement of prosecution proceedings against the Benin Electricity Distribution Company for violating the CPC’s enabling Act in the ongoing investigation of the activities electricity distribution firms following complaints by consumers.
The council is currently carrying out investigation into the activities of power distribution companies in response to numerous complaints from consumers on issues relating to estimated billing and the non-provision of meters for consumers.
The CPC, in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, warned that the absence of any of the distribution companies at the ongoing hearing would be regarded as a violation of its enabling Act, adding that this would attract appropriate sanctions upon prosecution.
It stated that its decision to prosecute errant Discos stemmed from the non-appearance of the BEDEC before the council’s panel that was instituted to investigate numerous complaints of electricity consumers on estimated billings and non-provision of meters.
The council said, “The Benin Electricity Distribution Company was expected to appear before the panel on Wednesday by 10am in line with a schedule of appearance agreed upon with the representatives of the Discos at their meeting with the council on Monday, September 7, 2015.
“The Disco, like its other counterparts, was also expected to have forwarded some documents that would aid the council in its hearing by Friday, September 11, 2015, even though the date was shifted to Monday, September 14, 2015 for all the Discos pursuant to a plea from the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors for more time for the submission of the documents.
“Though the council’s panel began its sitting on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, with the appearance of Ikeja and Kaduna distribution companies before it, the Benin Electricity Distribution Company disobeyed the summons by not appearing before the panel as scheduled and neither did it send in the requested documents.”
The panel’s Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Ataguba, while announcing the council’s decision to the representatives of ANED, declared that the action of the Benin Disco was a clear violation of the CPC’s enabling law.
Ataguba said the conduct of the Benin Disco was contrary to Section 18 of the CPC Act, which provides criminal sanctions for such a conduct.