The worsening epileptic power supply in Delta and three other Southern States of Edo, Ekiti and Ondo, was on Friday blamed mainly on the raging supremacy battle among the power distributors and the regulators.
The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights arrived at the conclusion at a press conference addressed in Warri, Delta State, by its National President, Kehinde Prince Taiga.
The Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc is responsible for retail distribution of electricity in Delta, Edo, Ekiti, and Ondo States with geographical coverage of 55,770 square kilometers.
The company operates from 25 business districts with approximately 350 offices located across the four states with about 13 million people and about 4 million households.
The CDHR President told journalists that investigations by the human rights group has revealed, “The masses are suffering from the crisis that is ongoing in the BEDC based on the wrong decision that was taken by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission”.
It would be recalled that NERC recently announced the dissolution of the Board of Trustees of BEDC and installed its proteges while the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on 8th July, 2022 ordered that status quo be maintained in the matter as the court granted a motion ex parte filed by the BEDC Managing Director, Mrs. Funke Osibodu.
Hon. Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in the ruling sighted by our correspondent granted interim injunction restraining the defendants including NERC “from altering the Board composition of BEDC or parading themselves as Directors of the company or working in concert with any person or party to alter the board composition, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice dated 8th July, 2022”.
The CDHR alleged that NERC had failed to follow due process before using its big hammer on the Board of BEDC and submitted that the raging crisis between the two bodies “had only resulted in subjecting the masses of electricity consumers in the four Southern States to untold hardship”.
“The masses are now feeling the pain”, the human rights group stated, urging BEDC and NERC to “respect the Judiciary’s status quo order, by putting on hold the crisis between them, while the BEDC Managing Director should continue her constitutional duties as MD until the Court determines the issue at stake”.
Speaking further, the CDHR President alleged that corruption and parochial interest coupled with self aggrandizement are at play in the whole episode “with a view to further frustrate the yearnings of the general public”.
The CDHR president, however, appealed to the public not to resort to self help in the matter, just as he warned the masses against giving recognition to any individual that tends to unilaterally claiming ownership of the electricity company, in contradiction of the Law establishing BEDC, pending the resolution of the issue at stake at the court.
The CDHR also appealed to the judiciary to “do the needful by speeding up the court processes and give its verdict in the matter within the shortest time frame possible to avert unnecessary crisis”.