AKWA IBOM, Nigeria – Operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in connivance with men of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company on Saturday allegedly beat up and inflicted injuries on a staff of the Nigerian Television Authority(NTA) Uyo, Mr. Imo Etimudo, for allegedly refusing to offer them bribe.
The victim, it was gathered was manhandled by the NSCDC officers on the orders of a staff of PHEDC, Mr. Joseph Umoh, who led the a team to the estate where he lives to disconnect consumers who have not paid their electricity bills.
Narrating his ordeal to journalists, Etimudo said, ”the PHEDC people came to where I live at Anniversary Estate along Idoro road in Uyo. We have not had light (electricity) in the estate for over a year until yesterday (Saturday).
”They came and knocked at the gate and I opened for them. They demanded for my electricity bill and I told them I don’t have it because we have not had light for over a year and that that may be why they don’t give us bills.
”They said okay that I should give them money and I asked them what the money they demanded was for. They said their ‘oga’ (boss) said I should find them something so I went out to see their ‘oga’.
”As I soon I went to see their boss they dropped my wires. At that point I demanded to know why the wires were dropped because we have enjoyed electricity supply from PHEDC for a very long time.
”They said they are disconnecting me and going with my wires because I refused to give them money. I insisted they can’t go with their wires after disconnecting me. I tried to stop them from taking the wires away.
”I wasn’t the only person. There is a serving Army Major-General who is my neighbour. He is in Maiduguri but his family lives here. The man has a prepaid meter inside his house but they still brought down his wires.
”The branch manager of Keystone Bank lives here too. He has a prepaid meter also. They met him in person and demanded money from him. The man refused to give them money and they brought down his light.
”I tried reaching the NUJ chairman to intervene but he said he was indisposed so I decided to drive out in my car to seek help.
”On my way out, close to my apartment, I was blocked by NSCDC and the PHEDC officials who attacked and beat me up and inflicted serious injuries on my head and back”.
When contacted, NSCDC Public Relations Officer, DSC. Ukeme Umana said he was yet to be briefed on the incident and promised to react as soon as he gets the full details.
“I have not been briefed on the issue. I will get back to you as soon as I get the full information Please,” the PRO simply said.