25 February 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has finally paid N18 million in compensation to the family of the eight-year-old Faith Yakubu who was killed by a live stretch of electricity wire that was carelessly left unattended to within her environment by officials of the electricity company.
The payment which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) also confirmed, was made almost six months after the electrocution of Yakubu was reported to the NERC by the Disco.
The AEDC had on September 3, 2015 reported the electrocution of the deceased even though the incident occurred on Tuesday, August 11, 2015.
The NERC then in November fined the Disco for such a negligent act and asked it to pay to the family N18 million in compliance with its regulatory order.
A statement from the NERC yesterday in Abuja, however, stated that the Disco had written to it, saying that the fined sum had been paid to the family of James Yakubu over the electrocution of their daughter.
“The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company in a letter dated Wednesday, February 10, 2016, informed the commission of the payment of the money that is in millions, as compensation to the family of the electrocuted victim in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),” said NERC in the statement that was signed by its head of corporate communications, Dr. Usman Arabi.
A NERC’s investigative report of the incident had also explained that the late Yakubu who had her four month younger brother strapped on her back, came in contact with the live wire that electrocuted her, but the brother survived.
The report also showed that the staff of AEDC had at that time embarked on electricity revenue drive at Anguwan Dodo area of Gwagwalada, and then disconnected the whole area from the main source but left the energised 0. 415vlv conductor lying on the ground.
The regulatory agency in the order compelled AEDC to compensate the family, saying that the Disco was responsible for the untimely death of the eight-year-old.
The NERC order also gave the directive that the staff of AEDC found negligent should be disciplined appropriately and that other staff of the electricity firm should be trained on all NERC regulations.
It also directed that all AEDC’s marketing units should be provided with competent technical staff only to carry out the functions of connection and disconnections including enlightenment campaigns as provided in NERC’s safety manual and code.
The statement also said the Abuja Disco funded the medical treatment of the surviving son, Bamaiyi Yakubu, immediately after the incident occurred.
Meanwhile, the Disco has raised the alarm over the rising cases of vandalism of various electricity equipment in its network.
It said such acts are happening mostly in the Wuse and Central areas of the city.
A statement from the Disco stated that no fewer than 10 different power system equipment were vandalised and in most cases carted away by unknown persons in less than one week in the Wuse area.
It also listed some of the wrecked power systems to include a feeder pillar which was vandalised and taken away from No.2, Bangui Street, Wuse 2; the low voltage side of two transformers which were vandalised along Monrovia Street also in Wuse 2, with all the bus bars, feeder pillar units and low voltage cables taken away by the vandals.
According to it, another feeder pillar was completely disconnected and taken away along Durban Street in Wuse 2, while approximately 3x150mm2 XLPE cable of an 11kV transformer on Sheraton Hotel feeder was vandalised at the weekend.
AEDC also said that vandals on Tuesday removed two feeder pillars at the OAU Quarters and Blantyre Street axis of Wuse 2, and made away with both equipment.
It thus appealed to all members of the public to be vigilant over power system equipment that deliver electricity to them and to also report any suspicious movements around such facilities to security agencies in the city.