Lagos residents protest estimated billing, and community members are detained by IKEDC (Photo)
Some Oko-Oba homeowners came out on Wednesday to protest what they called the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company's reportedly indiscriminate disconnections and estimated billing.
They are also protesting the detention of two community members, Imam Fatai Shaheed and Odewale Jamiu, whose detention was allegedly ordered by the IKEDC's Oko-Oba section. They have assembled outside the nearby Abbattoir Police Station and are pleading for the release of the two people who have been detained.
The Oko-Oba neighborhood and the Ikeja DisCo had previously been at odds over issues with projected billing. The GOSPELCABLE reported in June 2022 that Oko-Oba/Orile Development Union-affiliated citizens had also demonstrated against related concerns, claiming they would not be willing to pay for energy in the future if they were not given prepaid meters.
One of the residents, Funmi Ajayi, said in a statement to The GOSPELCABLE on Wednesday morning that the police were intimidating their residents due to projected billing.
They are providing us with an anticipated bill. One house received N160,000 in a month, while another received N120,000. We were opposing it and putting up a fight. Because of this, our friends were detained at the mosque at dawn today!” she yelled.
Another homeowner, going by the name James, claimed that the DisCo started cutting off the electricity to certain homes on Tuesday when they were unable to pay the projected bills.
The DisCo called a meeting and complained that we were only able to pay them N50 million when we were meant to generate N90 million for them. They threatened to start disconnecting if this continued. They arrived to cut off the power at the exact poles where the community organizers were located. After a fight broke out between several of them, they abruptly transported an Alimosho mobile police officer to Oko Oba.
“The police officer pulled out his weapon. James said, “He fired in the air.
He further stated that a resident had been assaulted by an IKEDC officer during a fight that broke out at the point of disconnection on Tuesday. He asserted that the official also pretended to be dizzy in order to be rushed to the hospital.
“The Divisional Police Officer of Abbattoir Police Station proceeded to mobilize his troops this morning at 5:30 in the morning in order to arrest one Alfa and Jamiu.
The community is currently demonstrating at the station, and he predicted that they would move on to shut down the office at Emmanuel, Oko Oba.
Attempts to get the IKEDC's response were unsuccessful. When reached, Mr. Musa, the undertaking manager of the IKEDC's Orile-Agege unit, declined to comment on the situation since he was not authorized to do so.
As of the time this story was filed, messages left on the IKEDC's official lines and accounts had not received a response.
In addition, Benjamin Hundeyin, the public relations officer for the Lagos State Police, had not yet responded to a message from our correspondent regarding the aforementioned arrests.