The Assistant Inspector General of Police for Zone Six, Usman Gonna, has denied arresting the Regional Manager of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED), Mr Collins Igwe, for slamming him with electricity bills amounting to N31 million, which led to disconnection of offices in the command.
Igwe is said to have accused the Police of refusing to pay for their power consumption and raised alarm over his human rights.
The AIG, in a statement signed by the zone’s public relations officer, Nelson Okpabi, said he rather threatened to approach the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to complain about the misconduct of disconnecting him whereas he had never defaulted in paying his bills.
Gomma said Igwe did not comply with sections 9 and 10 of the Miscellaneous Offences Act chapter M17.
According to the statement, Zone Six has been civil and professional in the discharge of its policing duties with respect to human rights, denying the viral messages in the social media that the AIG trampled on Igwe’s human rights.
“Mr Collins is fully aware that Zone 6 is a Federal establishment not the property of the AIG and knows where to channel his outrageous bills to if any,” the statement read.
The AIG insisted that installing an industrial meter in an office that has no factory is fraudulent and a gross violation of the customer’s rights.
He stated that the AIG’s office has had several meetings with PHED officials on payment modalities with additional information about government allocation for electricity.
“The Zone has not defaulted in payment of bills to warrant disconnection without notification by the PHED against the laid down procedures.
“The act of disconnecting the Zone or anyone without prior information is criminal and negates section 9 and 10 of the Miscellaneous Offences Act chapter M17.
“The Zone will definitely approach the NERC with this misconduct.
“The PHED Regional Manager was never arrested or detained but was asked in a meeting to explain the reason for incessant disconnection of a government establishment that houses detention facility and an armoury without following the procedures prescribed by the regulatory body.
“Attributing a bill of N31million to a man who is barely five months old in the Zone is an aberration and a clear expression of Mr Igwe’s loathing for the Police hence his desire to defraud the Zone in name of meeting the set target for light never supplied,” he said.
A few days ago, the Cross River State House of Assembly summoned the power firm to appear before it and explain why it has been slamming customers with outrageous bills without commensurate power supply in parts of the state.