Amid the increasing spate of attacks on Ikeja Electric Staff, a middle-aged man, Abiodun Makinde has been arrested and remanded in Kirikiri Maximum Prisons for beating up Oluwaseun Onate, a staff of the Electricity Distribution Company.
Makinde, who was apprehended in hiding by the Police was arraigned on a two-count charge of assault and breach of peace at the Ogba Magistrate Court, Lagos. Onate was assaulted at Aberuagba Street, Oshodi, Lagos, a month ago during an activity which involved disconnection of debtor customers. Makinde absconded thereafter; leading to an organized search for his arrest by the Police.
While he pleaded not guilty, the presiding Magistrate, Mrs Dan Oni sitting at Court 8, Ogba granted the suspect bail and ordered to be remanded at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons until bail conditions are met. The case was thereafter adjourned to March 14, 2019 for further hearing.
In another related development, two other persons, Rotimi Bamigbade and Kazeem Adeniyi Owoleye have also been remanded in Kirikiri for similar offences. Bamigbade and four others still at large, on February 18, 2019, at Ajasa Command, Ipaja, carried out a physical assault on an Ikeja Electric linesman with bottles and sticks, and dispossessing him of personal property.
He was subsequently detained and arraigned before Mrs. A.A. Adetunji sitting at the Magistrate, Court 14 Ogba on five counts of conspiracy to commit felony; breach of peace; obstructing official duty, assault occasioning harm and stealing.
Bamigbade pleaded guilty to all the counts except stealing. He has since been remanded at the Ikoyi Prisons. While the case has been adjourned to 18th March, 2019 for prison sentencing, efforts are still underway to ensure that other suspects, still at large, are apprehended.
Kazeem Adeniyi Owoleye was arraigned before Mrs. T.A. Azeez sitting at Ikorodu Magistrate Court 1, Ikorodu on a two counts charge of alleged assault on staff at Rilwan Lawal Street, Luwa Estate, Ikorodu. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was subsequently granted bail in the sum of N50,000 with two sureties. He was however unable to perfect his bail condition and has therefore been remanded at the Kirikiri maximum prison pending the perfection of his bail.
IE recently issued a press statement which cautioned against assault on staff and threatened to withdraw its services from hostile communities and customers. The company’s Head of Corporate Communications, Felix Ofulue, while reacting to the judgement, said the decision to seek redress in court over series of attack on the company staff is to stem the menace of violence against its staff, a development he hoped will serve as a deterrent to other offenders against future reoccurrence.
He further urged aggrieved customers to seek peaceful means and the redress mechanism established by the company for resolution of issues.