30 December 2016, Warri – A Magistrates’ Court in Koko, near Sapele, Delta State on Wednesday sentenced two persons, Friday Tega and Tega Ajaino, to three years and nine months and two years’ imprisonment with hard labour, respectively for vandalising the equipment and facilities of the Benin Electricity Distribution Plc.
The accused, according to a statement from the BEDC, were convicted for vandalising a 33KVA power line belonging to the firm.
It said they were jailed without any option of fine after their arrest on December 19 for cutting the wire of a tower at the Presco palm oil plantation situated in Koko Town.
They were said to have cut the 50mm earthing wire for grounding channel iron on the 33KVA line, and also vandalised 12 towers.
According to the statement, the vandals were caught by the company’s customers and community members in the area.
It stated that while in detention at the Koko Police Station, one of the convicted vandals attempted to escape by breaking the toilet ceiling but was re-arrested after a search that lasted about an hour.
The statement read in part, “They were arraigned before the Koko Magistrates’ Court on two counts of conspiracy and stealing, while the second accused, Friday Tega, who attempted to escape, was tried on another two counts for attempted escape and malicious damage to property.
“According to the magistrate, all terms were, however, to run concurrently at the Sapele prisons where they will serve their jail terms.
“The activities of vandals on the electricity distribution network continue to be a major act negatively affecting power service delivery to customers. The BEDC has commended the vigilance and commitment of those who helped in arresting the vandals as well the swift way the police and the court dealt with the issue.”