Benin Electricity Distribution Plc. (BEDC)

Electricity consumers in Ekiti State have sued the Benin Electricity Distribution company (BEDC) to court over alleged over billings and illegal disconnection of electricity in the state.

In an originating summon filed at the Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti, the landlords, under the auspices of Ado Ekiti Electricity Consumers’ Association, said the BEDC contravened the Electricity Reform Act 2005, which provided that all electricity consumers must be metered before two years of connection.

The suit was filed by Dr. Ibukun Ogundipe, chairman of the body, and four others. Joined in the suit are the BEDC as first defendant and National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) as second defendant.

The plaintiffs, through their lawyer, Barrister Isaac Omolade, prayed the court for an order of mandamus compelling the NERC to revoke BEDC operational licence for flouting the regulations.

They prayed the court to determine, among other things, whether the BEDC, going by the provisions of Sections 32, 80, 81,82 and 96, were empowered to impose arbitrary charge without deferring to NERC.

The plaintiffs sought a perpetual injunction restraining the BEDC from disconnecting or imposing monthly payment more than N3,100, as contained in their prayers and deposition.

They sought an order compelling the BEDC to pay the association N1 million as general damages and another order compelling the distribution company to give prepaid meters to consumers.

They contended that having regards to Sections 63 and 76 that NERC was empowered by the Electricity Act to determine amount to pay on electricity and that the BEDC must comply with the law.

They also said the court should nullify the arrears of electricity owed by landlords in Ekiti State as soon as they were metered, saying the charges were arbitrary and not done in tandem with the law.

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