Ekiti State Landlords’ Association has sued the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) for alleged over-billing and illegal disconnection of electricity source in the state.
In an originating summons filed at the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti, the landlords, under the auspices of Ado-Ekiti Electricity Consumers’ Association, alleged that BEDC contravened the Electricity Reform Act 2005, which recommended that consumers must be metered within two years of connection.
Joined in the suit filed by the chairman, Dr. Ibukun Ogundipe, and four others, is the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) as second defendant.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Isaac Omolade, prayed the court for an order of mandamus compelling NERC to revoke BEDC’s operational licence for flouting the regulations.
He also prayed the court to determine, among other things, whether BEDC, going by the provision of sections 32, 80, 81, 82 and 96 of the Act were empowered to impose arbitrary charge without deferring to NERC.
Perpetual injunction restraining the BEDC from disconnecting or imposing monthly payment more than N3,100 was sought by the plaintiffs.
They also sought orders compelling the BEDC to pay the association N1 million as general damages and to give pre-paid meters to consumers.
Asking the court to nullify the bills owed by landlords in Ekiti as soon as they are metered, they said the charges were arbitrary and not in tandem with the law.
When the matter came up yesterday, the plaintiff’s lawyer stated that the defendants had been served with all papers and were expected to appear in court.
In his short ruling, Justice Babs Kuewumi said: “Going by the court’s records, what you have filed and served on the defendants are the originating summons and they have right of reply.
“This case is adjourned till June 26, 2019 for definite hearing and the defendants must be put on notice.”