An Abuja-based businessman, Jerry Okolo, on Wednesday sued the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) over alleged illegal billings for electricity supply.
Mr Okolo instituted the suit at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Gudu, against the electricity distribution company, along with his landlord, Abimaje Ebute as co-claimant.
The businessman is demanding N10 million compensation as general damages for alleged illegal and unlawful billings for electricity supplied by the electricity distribution company.
The claimants are also asking the court to pay them N5 million as damages for inconveniences and losses they incurred.
In addition, they are seeking for the payment of N500,000 as cost of prosecuting the case.
When the matter before Justice Module Osho-Adebiyi came up for hearing, Mr Okolo in his evidence urged the court to adopt his written statement on oath.
He tendered various documents which were duly received and marked as exhibits by the court.
Some of the documents tendered were copies of monthly estimated electricity bills, purchases receipt of electricity token and receipts of reconnection fees.
However, on his cross-examination, Mr Okolo could not go on as the defendant was not present in court, neither was there a legal representation.
The judge therefore adjourned the matter until February 18 for continuation of hearing.
At the last adjourned date of November 12, 2020, the defendant counsel, Ifeanyi Aborgu, promised that the AEDC was going to reach out to the claimants to resolve the issue.
In the claimants’ statement of claim, it was alleged that the AEDC had been sending an estimated electricity bill to the house located at FHA, Lugbe, Abuja since 2014, although the house had no occupant since 2018 when Mr Okolo was transferred out of Abuja.
Mr Okolo said he wrote to the AEDC to inform them that the estimated billing should be stopped and a pre-paid meter installed, but it was never done.
In addition, he alleged that although he usually visited to the house on a quarterly basis, the bills kept accumulating to about N23,814.39 in one of the months he was away.
He said the electricity supply to the house was disconnected since August 2019 after months of non-payment from him.
Mr Okolo said he paid about N5,000 as reconnection fee and on December 24, 2019, a pre-paid meter was finally installed in the compound.
By then, he said the AEDC claimed he was indebted to them to the sum of N171,000.00 as the accumulated bills for the period he was disconnected from electricity supply.
Mr Okolo said in furtherance to the alleged indebtedness, every time he made purchases of electricity token from the defendant, 60 percent of the amount was deducted by way of payment for the alleged N171,000 debt
He said it was this continual deduction that necessitated the suit and damages he incurred when his things got destroyed due to the disconnection while he was away. (NAN)