By Etuka Sunday
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has arrested a suspect, Anthony Adeoye, for allegedly parading himself as a staff of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) and extorting money from electricity customers.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the arrest, the Commandant of NSCDC, FCT Division, Mr Patric Ukpan said the suspect was arrested in Lugbe Area of Abuja, following a tip off.
He said Adeoye, who identified himself as AEDC staff had in his possession a forged identity card and fake AEDC forms.
According to Ukpan, the suspect distributes these AEDC forms to unsuspecting members of the public in order to extort money from them.
Ukpan said the suspect was extorting money from the public with intent
of providing AEDC facilities like electricity meter.
He called on members of the public to always look out for criminal minded people who were in the habit of impersonating government agencies or companies to commit criminal activities.
“When they start making demands, and you feel that you are not comfortable with what they are saying, please make enquiries and report to the proper agencies.’’
He said the suspect would be properly investigated and prosecuted subsequently, adding that AEDC had confirmed that the suspect was not a member of its staff.
Meanwhile, Adeoye said he was not in the business of extorting money from people but he was a former staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria(PHCN) who was disengaged from the service when he had an industrial accident but was not paid his entitlement.
“I had an accident when I fell down from the pole, the defunct PHCN did not pay my entitlement, and pension after my several request,” he said.
He denied the allegation that he was involved in a fraudulent activity, adding that the AEDC forms were given to him by an AEDC staff.
He said: “the fake AEDC identity card in my passion is issued to me by a retrenched staff of AEDC.”
However, the Head of Public Relations Officer and Media of AEDC, Mr Ahmed Shakarau, who confirmed the arrest said the forms and identity card presented by the suspect were forged.
He said, the AEDC had given approval to law enforcement agencies to prosecute the suspect, adding that he was not a staff of AEDC.
Shakarau said that investigation would reveal if there was any connivance with staff of AEDC as claimed by the suspect.
He explained that AEDC management would sanction any staff involved in criminal activities.
He said the only channel for obtaining electricity meter was by obtaining a bank draft and presentation of the draft to AEDC, for onward supply of the meter.
The AEDC PRO said: “we don’t have outlet where people acquire meter.”
He said that AEDC was increasing its sensitisation drive to its customers on the need to always find out the identity of people who approached them as AEDC staff.