Mother, daughter remanded for energy theft in Lagos

Sixty-five-year-old Lateefat Shofidiya and her daughter, Taiwo Ekundayo, have been remanded in a correctional centre by the Ogba Magistrates’ Court pending the fulfilment of their bail conditions after they were arraigned for the theft of energy on the Ikeja Electric network.

The alleged energy theft happened at their place of residence on Fatokun Street, Abule Taylor, off the Abeokuta Expressway in Lagos State.

The mother and daughter were said to have been nabbed after initially absconding from their house after it was discovered that they illegally connected to electricity from a source and passed the cable underground for over 100 metres.

Footage, which went viral a few weeks ago, had shown an employee of Ikeja Electric uprooting a long cable that was buried underground till it terminated at Lateefat’s home.

Lateefat and Taiwo were arraigned before Magistrate Ogunsanmi on three counts, but pleaded not guilty and were admitted to bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum.

In a statement on Wednesday entitled: ‘Mother, daughter arraigned for energy theft’, the Head of Corporate Communications, IE, Felix Ofulue, described energy theft as a challenge affecting the power sector, adding that “apart from the illegality and the negative impact of the activity on the bills of neighbours, it is also a major safety threat. That is why we deploy legal means to address the anomaly.”

The statement read in part, “They (Lateefat and Taiwo) were arraigned before Magistrate Ogunsanmi of the Ogba Magistrates’ Court 2, on three counts bordering on conspiracy to commit felony, punishable under Section 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State; unlawful tampering with the private property of the Ikeja Electric Plc, contrary to and punishable under Section 340 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State; and unlawful underground connection of electricity, punishable under Section 52 of the Lagos State Electric Power Sector Reform Law, 2018.

“The defendants pleaded not guilty to all counts and were granted bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum. The addresses of the sureties are to be verified by court officials. They were consequently remanded pending the perfection of the bail conditions and the case was adjourned till August 12, 2020, for hearing.”

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