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EEDC Fanning Embers Of Discord In New Phase Of Umuobe, Ovom Estate? - Nairaland / General - Nairaland
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EEDC Fanning Embers Of Discord In New Phase Of Umuobe, Ovom Estate? by Chykenson: 11:54pm On Nov 19
Landlords Association of New Phase of Umuobe Estate, Ovom Aba filed a suit against Enugu Electricity Distribution Company EEDC in the Court of Law for non implementation of NERC rulings of 8th July 2018 in a case which they raised against them bordering on high estimated energy billing and their unwillingness to enumerate and provide them with Meter.
In their ruling NERC asked EEDC if it will be convenient for her to meter the residents of the Estate within 90 days and their answer was in the affirmative. Therefore, NERC ordered that they should piecewisely meter everyone in the Estate within 90 days. NERC also ruled that the subsequent energy bills of the Estate should be adjusted to the rate of average of their energy consumption as indicated in their bills from May 2017 to May 2018.
EEDC had ten days window to appeal against the ruling but they failed to protest the ruling and this inevitably indicated acceptance of the ruling and it was binding on them to comply with what they accepted.
Unfortunately, EEDC did not provide the residents of the Estate with Meter within the ninety days ordered by NERC which expired in December 2018.
The Landlords Association of the Estate through several letters reminded them of the ruling but they kept dilly - dallying till May 2019 when Meter provision became the responsibility of Meter Asset Providers ( MAP). It was at this point that they advised the Landlords Association to apply for Meter provision through MAP.
On the ruling concerning adjustment of energy bill, EEDC did not appropriately adjust the subsequent energy billings of the Estate according to the NERC templates.
The Landlords Association of New Phase of Umuobe Estate is an association of Landlords living in a location formerly called Bartacks. Barracks is located in Umuobe, a village in the OgborHill area of Aba Metropolis. Umuobe is one of the villages in Amairinabuo Autonomous Community, Ovom, Obingwa Local Government Area, Abia State.
For the fact that the Estate took EEDC to NERC and obtained a favourable ruling against them, EEDC has been on their neck, looking for a way to vent their pound of flesh. Between July 2018 and October 2020, the Estate did not enjoy energy supply up to five months, yet the residents endured the deliberate and conscious maltreatment.
The action that broke the Camel's back was the unjust disconnection of the Estate by EEDC on 26th August 2020 after the residents had paid their energy bills for the month. The Landlords Association without hesitation engaged EEDC Aba Business District Acting Network Manager in discussions towards the reconnection of the Estate and when they discovered EEDC had tuned off and had refused to see reasons with them, they were compelled to seek for the interpretation and enforcement of the NERC Ruling from the law Court.
The substantive Aba Business District Network Manager, who is an Indian would have resolved this matter amicably if not that he was observing his annual leave and had travelled to India.
The Umuobe Village Council, which is an association of Umuobe indigenes learnt of the imbroglio between their tenants ( Landlords Association) and EEDC, and requested that they be allowed to mediate in the matter. The Lawyers of EEDC and the Landlords Association agreed and permission was granted to them to mediate.
Their mediatory role should have been to invite the waring parties to a round table discussion but the reverse was the case. Regrettably, the Village Council had an ulterior motive to take over the administration of the New Phase of Umuobe Estate. Like the proverbial negaotiator who had a soft spot for one of the parties and assisted him in the conquering of the other party, the Village Council with vested interest met severally with EEDC officials at their Aba Business District Headquarters and even agreed terms with them and paid initial payment of Five Hundred Thousand Naira of the One Million Naira which they demanded must be paid as a precondition for the reconnection of the Estate. EEDC told them that the One Million Naira was the revenue they lost since the Estate was disconnected.
The Village Council who pretended they were playing mediatory role did not inform the Landlords Association till the Estate was reconnected having paid extra Forty Thousand Naira which EEDC claimed is contingency fee. Though they apologized to the Landlords Association in a meeting for not carrying them along, the next day, their ulterior motive became evident as they embarked on revenue drive to pay back those they claimed gave them loan to pay the Five Hundred Thousand Naira. They mobilised the Youths of the village, armed them and in a commando style, they humiliated and intimidated people into paying as much as Eight Thousand Naira as against Five Thousand Naira. Those who failed to pay, their lights were disconnected. One was wondering what gave them the courage to climb EEDC Poles to disconnect the Estate residents. Little wonder that in one of their secret meetings with EEDC, they were issued with an Authority Letter to watch over EEDC facilities in the Estate but not to operate it. It is worthy of note that they misconstrued the Authority Letter to mean letter of appointment as EEDC Agent. Armed with this document, they unleashed terror on the residents especially the executives of the Landlords Association and threatened to kill anyone who stands on their way. Most of their activities were in the night and they always go about with matchetes, guns, rods and other weapons of intimidation.
Of course, it is glaringly clear that EEDC is using them as a tool to fight the Landlords Association because of the rift.
On Monday 16th November 2020, the Village Council arranged a supposedly mediatory meeting between EEDC and the Landlords Association at the office of EEDC Aba Business District Acting Network Manager. The big question is, how can a mediatory meeting be convened in the territory of one of the parties in a dispute? The expected happened as the Acting EEDC Aba Business District Network Manager used the occasion to deride, harass, threaten and intimidate the representatives of The Landlords Association. He thought that his impassioned speech will coerced them into signing a document he has prepared to initiate the withdrawal of the suit they filled in the court against EEDC, but they were able to rebuff and disappoint his expectations. True to their innuendos, the Village Council never uttered a word throughout the duration of the address by the 'over excited' Acting Network Manager.
The Village Council had a meeting on 17th November 2020 where they proscribed the Landlords Association and after the meeting they visited the houses of the executives of the Landlords Association and unleashed mayhem on them, disconnected them from EEDC power supply, warned them never to convene any meeting on their soil and confiscated all the properties of the Association.
The Customer Service of EEDC Enugu refused to comment on the Authority Letter they issued and the attendant consequences of the letter which has blown away the peace and tranquility of the once quite and calm Estate. The question remains why EEDC should fan this ember of discord and disunity?
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