12 February 2016, Lagos – Residents of Kogberegbe Street, in the Isolo area of Lagos State say they have yet to recover from the shock of watching two officials of the Ikeja Electric being electrocuted by high-tension cables.
The residents blamed the electricity distribution company, saying something was fishy about the incident.They also called for an immediate investigation and prosecution of suspects, urging that the victims’ families be adequately compensated.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the two electricity workers had arrived at the area on Wednesday around 2pm to install a transformer in the community.
The first worker, identified as Aloma, was said to have mounted the high tension pole after a telephone call had been made to the office that power should be switched off.
It was gathered that as the victim worked, power was suddenly restored in the area.
A resident, Ololade Ultimate, said Aloma was electrocuted immediately, adding that he spent about one hour on the pole.
He said, “Aloma and his colleagues were not on an illegal duty. They came with the transformer which they wanted to install in the area.
“Aloma made a call to their office that they were about to start working and power was switched off.
“Five minutes after Aloma climbed the pole, power was restored and he was electrocuted.”
The victim’s hand, along with the safety gloves, was reportedly cut off by the voltage.
Another resident, Ibrahim Kazeem, said Aloma’s colleague, Bode, made a call to the office to alert them to the incident.
After waiting for about one hour without anyone showing up, Bode was reported to have called the office again, informing them of his plan to remove the corpse of his colleague.
“They switched off the power again, and Bode climbed the pole. By this time, there was a crowd on the street. Women were crying, some people were shouting; there was confusion everywhere.
“Bode climbed up the ladder and started loosening the strap around Aloma’s waist to bring him down.
“He was there for just a few minutes when power was restored again. He was electrocuted as well,” Kazeem added.
It was gathered that Bode fell off the pole onto the roof of a Christ Apostolic Church after power went off yet again.
He was said to have finally landed on the ground, breaking his neck.
“He was soaked in blood,” a witness said.
Adewale Solesi, another witness, said Bode was rushed to the Isolo General Hospital, but was rejected. He was then transferred to the Gbagada General Hospital for treatment.
A third official was reportedly sent from the office, who then safely removed Aloma’s corpse.
A tailor, Mrs. Amzat Olabisi, said residents were thrown into mourning over the incident.
“Everybody was in tears. It is obvious that somebody was behind what happened to those men. We learnt that they were not the ones that were supposed to do the job, but somebody asked them to go there. The power was just coming on and off, as if it was somebody’s toy. This was not ordinary,” she added.
Dimeji Ogunlade called for a thorough investigation into the case and punishment of those found wanting in the discharge of their duties.
The Principal Manager, Public Affairs, Ikeja Electric, Olusola Ayeni, when contacted by our correspondent, said every official of the company knew the company’s protocol when going for an assignment.
He also said it was not possible for the company to get to the scene of the incident immediately it got an alert that the officials were electrocuted.
However, when our correspondent asked why the victims were electrocuted despite telling the office about their plan to start working on the high-tension cables, the line went dead.
Ayeni had since not picked his calls, despite repeated attempts by our correspondent.
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said investigation was ongoing into the incident, adding that the police did not suspect any foul play.
She said, “The police were involved in the rescue of the workers. While one died immediately, the second man is recuperating in a hospital. We are not looking at if anybody did it deliberately, but investigation is ongoing. If we find any foul play, we will make it public.”