A grief-stricken father of a boy who was electrocuted as a result of negligence by live electricity cable belonging to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC has threatened litigation after being rebuffed by the firm.
the deceased boy, Samuel Ayodele
Mr. Tade Ayodele, father of Samuel Ayodele, 7, who was electrocuted by live electricity cable belonging to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) in Kabusa area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has appealed to the power firm, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) for urgent compensation to avoid litigation.
The electrocution which was a case of sheer negligence by the electricity distribution company has generated controversy as non of the regulatory agencies want to act after the fateful incident happened on November 9, 2015. The grief stricken man has written a petition demanding for immediate compensation for his loss. But nothing has been done by the agencies involved.
According to TheNation, the father of the deceased complained that after petitioning NERC and CPC, neither of the organisations had addressed the situation with necessary compensation. Ayodele might be forced to sue the power company, CPC and NERC to court should they refuse to act appropriately and in record time.
He said: “It is clear that there is nothing one can do to revive Samuel. But the company and all the government agencies I wrote the petition to have refused to act. They should do the right thing by paying compensation, but if they refuse to do that nothing will stop me from going to court.”
According to copies of the petition which the trio of NERC, CPC and AEDC received on November 12, the power firm appeared reluctant to act when the community informed it of the looming danger of the fallen and exposed cable.
The petition with the heading “Electrocution and Death of My 7 Year Old Son By AEDC Cable at Kabusa, Abuja,” reads in part: “On Monday, November 9, 2015, around 6:00 a.m, an electric cable belonging to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) fell down from the pole at the Old Pantaker Area of Kabusa, Abuja.
“Electricity supply was on when this cable fell down, and seeing the danger to lives of the people living in the area, the AEDC was called on phone and the fallen cable reported to them. They were begged to take action by cutting off power supply to the area and coming to remove the fallen cable. They promised they would come but almost throughout the day, from that 6:00 a.m. till late afternoon, they did not come.
“Around 2.30 p.m. while I was at my place of work at Gudu District, my 7 year-old son, Samuel Ayodele was going to throw refuse away. As he tried to cross a gutter, his foot slipped and he fell down on the electric cable and was electrocuted. Some neighbours used a dry plank to remove the cable from him and he was rushed to the Shadalafiya Primary Health Centre, Sherreti Road, Kabusa.
“He was received at the health centre by Dr H. Dabagal and Dr Andrew Bayero who battled unsuccessfully to save his life. My son died around 6:30 p.m. that same day. Please find attached the Medical Report and Death Certificate of my late son as issued by Dr. Dabagal and Dr, Bayero. Sir, you can imagine how I feel as a father.
“The death of my son is an irreparable and irreplaceable loss, and I am begging you in the name of God Almighty to seek redress for me and sanction the AEDC accordingly to prevent further negligence and nonchalant approach to duty for which the AEDC has become well-known.
“Sir, please I cry for justice and appeal to you to use your good office to ensure I get redress for this unbearable loss. I look forward to your usual prompt response, Sir.”
Asked to respond to the allegation on the telephone, the AEDC Head of Corporate Communications and Community Relations, Mr. Oyebode Fadipe, noted that on receiving the petition, the company mobilised its team to investigate the matter.
“We are also aware that the father has written to NERC. And you know NERC is the regulatory agency in this sector, and even we on our own have informed NERC on what has happened as it is expected of us. And that is exactly what we have done. We are expected to bring it to the attention of the regulatory agency and we have done exactly that. The father of the diseased has also done that. It means that we have submitted to the authority of the regulatory agency. Even we have, on our part, conducted investigation to see the circumstances surrounding that.
“But you know we cannot be a judge in our own case. And for our own purpose too we need the investigation so that we can prevent such occurrences in future and make sure that our customers are safe. It is NERC that is handling the situation as it is now. Both parties have submitted to NERC. It is NERC that has the prerogative to take the matter beyond where we have taken it to.”
What will come out of this is left to be desired as the family of the deceased continue to suffer deep pains for a loss that could have been avoided if companies live up to the expectations of the people.