Edo vandal bags 3 year jail term for vandalizing BEDC equipment

Efforts by BEDC Electricity Plc (BEDC) at curbing the menace of vandalism on its network has again received a boost with the sentencing of one David James to three years imprisonment by a Benin Magistrate Court 6 in Egor Local Government area of Edo state.

The accused who was sentenced on a two-count charge of stealing armoured cable wires and stealing three transformer bushes spindles both valued at nearly N500,000. The judgment was delivered by Mrs. E.A Aghedo at Egor Magistrate court last Wednesday (January 7th 2020) after the accused pleaded guilty to the charges.

The offence was contained in the charge sheet No MSG/005c/2020 titled: Commissioner of Police vs. David James. The vandal is a male and is aged 26years, while the sentence was without an option of fine.

James reportedly committed the offence on December 22nd, 2019 at along Upper Ekewan road, Benin city in Egor Magisterial district, a crime punishable under section 390 (a) of the Criminal Code Cap 48 volume  ii Laws of Edo state.

The accused was caught by members of Bedekeme Street in Obaji off Ugbiyoko quarters who alleged during an interview conducted by a television station in Benin City that they had been thrown into darkness due to the activity of vandals at different times.

The accused who confessed to committing the crime said he wanted to sell the vandalized items before he was arrested by men of the Nigerian Police Evbuotubu Division, Benin.

In a confessional statement given to the police, James who said he was not a first time offender, said the vandalized items were usually sold to dealers in scrap items and that he has been to prison on account of vandalism. The accused also confessed to have served a jail term of one year and six months at a Benin Correctional services over cable vandalism in 2005. He said he is a driver and a house builder.

Vandalism of electricity distribution network and other forms of electrical thefts are serious threats to power sector sustainability and economic growth and  have been  major acts negatively affecting service delivery to customers.  Revenue that could be used for critical development projects are being used to restore damaged and stolen installation

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