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Poor Service: AEDC seeks out-of-court settlement as lawyer slams N200 million suit

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The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), on Thursday, sought out-of-court settlement in a suit filed against it by Musa Abdullahi, a legal practitioner, over allegations bordering on epileptic power supply.

An AEDC’s legal officer, Morayo Yedoni, told Justice Mariya Ismail of the Suleja Division of the Niger State High Court shortly after the case with suit number: NSHC/SD/27/2022 was mentioned.

Mr Abdullahi, in an originating summon dated and filed on March 4, had dragged AEDC to court, demanding a N200 million compensation over alleged poor services.

He also prayed the court to give an order, in the alternative, directing a six-month bill-free period for the plaintiff as compensation for all the period of unjustified power interruption.

The lawyer had sued AEDC (defendant) on behalf of electricity consumers in Dawaki, Mata Akawu, Suleja Club, Maje, Kwamba, Bakasi, Gangare Kwata, Chaza, Emir Palace, Hassan Dallatu, Church Road, Rafin Sanyi, Paolosa and Kwankwashe; all of Suleja Local Government.

When the matter was called, although no lawyer was in court for AEDC (defendant), Ms Yedoni, however, said she was representing the company.

She acknowledged the receipt of all the processes served on them by the plaintiff but pleaded that they would like to settle the matter out of court.

Mr Abdullahi urged the court to look at the faces of the people who came to court for the proceedings to understand how the people of Suleja felt about AEDC’s activities.

Justice Ismail, who adjourned the matter at the instance of the AEDC, fixed May 30 as return date.

Mr Abdullahi had urged the court to determine that whether having regards to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)’s guidelines and the Provision of Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005, the plaintiffs, being customers of the defendant, are entitled to electricity service and supply in a safe and reliable manner.

“Whether the plaintiffs are entitled to enjoy stable electricity supply same in the way the residence of APC quarters and other places that enjoy 24 hours electricity supply within Suleja.

“Whether the plaintiffs are duty bound or under any obligation to contribute money for the repair and maintenance of transformers being the property of AEDC PLC,” among others.

Mr Abdullahi, however, sought nine reliefs should the above questions were resolved in favour of the residents of the areas.

“A declaration that the defendant, having failed in their basic duty of provision of power supply in a safe and reliable manner, without any tangible justification, the plaintiff(s) are entitled to damages and compensation considering the fact that charges/rates under the guise of bills are imposed by the defendant on the plaintiff which the plaintiff do pay.

“An order of this honourable court directing the defendants to change and replace the transformers in the areas that require new ones and ensure supply of constant electricity on the inhabitants of the areas in accordance with NERC’s guidelines and the provisions of Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005.

“An order of this honourable court compelling the defendant to provide a minimum of 18 hours power supply as agreed by the defendant with the executive governor of Niger State.

“An order directing the defendant to pay to the plaintiff general damages in the sum of two hundred million Naira only (N200,000,000.00k) for the wrongful, unjustifiable and unwarranted power interruption or refusal of the defendant to supply adequate electricity to the plaintiff which act of the defendants has caused untold hardship on the plaintiff.

“Or in the alternative, an order directing six months bill-free period for the plaintiff as compensation for all the period of unjustified power interruption.

“A declaration that the power shedding formula is discriminatory against the people of Dawaki, Mata Akawu, Suleja Club, Maje, Kwamba, Bakasi, Gangare Kwata, Chaza, Gwazunu, Emir Palace, Hassan Dallatu, Church Road, Rafin Sanyi, Paolosa, Kwankwashe; all of Suleja Local Government,” among others.

(NAN)