Abuja VON Garden City Subscriber Mobilizes Soldiers to Intimidate Security Operatives, Others

…..AEDC Swoops On Subscriber, Dismantles, Confiscates Armored Cable Connected Illegal

A Subscriber of VON Garden City Estate located along the Abuja International Airport Road has bitten more than he can chew as he was said to have mobilized some Soldiers to the estate to intimidate private security personnel and officials of the estate.

The Subscriber, Richard Okeke, who is the Regional Lead (Market Development) at Johnson & Johnson, had invited the soldiers, confirmed to have embarked on the mission illegally, to intimidate the security operatives attached to the estate and other workers to pave way for him and his boys to carry out an illegal connection in the estate against the advice of the estate developer, ABC Shelters, thereby endangering the lives of other tenants.

FirstAfrica News gathered that the 35mm Armoured Cable Okeke connected illegally to a house in the estate which he has subscribed to, have been forcefully dismantled and confiscated by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company(AEDC).

Trouble started Tuesday when the management of the estate got wind that the subscriber who does not own the property yet, as was said not to have fully paid for the house, stormed the estate with soldiers on uniform( and had their tags removed, to prevent them from being identified) and dared staff of the company and security operatives to make any moves to stop the illegal connection from being carried out.

Mr Okeke (on navy blue polo), together with the hired soldiers, supervising the illegal connection of the cable beside the property in the estate.

FirstAfrica News gathered that the subscriber engaged the service of an official of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), who illegally connected a 35 mm Armoured Cable to a property in the estate.

Confirming the incident to this writer at the estate on Tuesday, shortly after the incident, the Group General Manager (GGM) of ABC Shelters, developer of VON Garden City estate, Ezekiel Uzochukwu said the subscriber violated rules guiding the operations of the company which he is not obvious to.

The AEDC Service Engr.Abdullahi, (on blue shirt), others dismantling the cable

Uzochukwu said despite repeated warnings and advice from the management, Mr. Okeke went ahead with his plans, resorting to intimidation and carried out the illegal connection to the detriment of other tenants.

AEDC officials confiscating the  cable.

The GGM recalled that the company had experienced a similar situation where such illegal connection had destroyed transformers in the estate, throwing other tenants in prolonged total blackout until the company intervened.

He explains: “Part of the rule is that you have to own a house first before you connect to electricity. If you’ve not own the house, you cannot connect to the facilities. The normal thing here is that when you finish paying for a house, then you can connect to the facilities or you will be connected.

“And even if you are to be connected when you finish paying, there is a procedure you must follow. You cannot just come and do arbitrary connection because several times it has damaged our transformers and kept the estate in darkness for a long time.

    The property being connected

“This subscriber is aware of this. We met him when he was doing the connection and advised him against this but he refused and brought two soldiers whose name tags were removed. These two soldiers stood there to make sure that nobody could stop him from connecting.”

Continuing, Uzochukwu further explained: “The connection was done wrongly, the Feeder Pillar it was connected to is wrong. It is not the right feeder pillar he ought to have connected. But because he felt that the feeder pillar he supposed to connect to is a bit far, so he found a cheaper and closer feeder pillar to connect to, thereby connecting it to the wrong source which can blow the transformer which was just delivered two weeks ago.

“I even cautioned him against this but he refused. The person he brought from AEDC did not even get authorization to come and do the job so, I had to call the Operations Manager of AEDC who now directed his men to come and look at the connection and remove it. We have also reached out to the military and they said they didn’t send anybody to do this illegal work. The soldiers didn’t wear their tags so obviously they were on an illegal duty.”

The Group General Manager of ABC Shelters ceased the occasion to advise other tenants to follow due process and desist from taking laws into their hands.

“There is a process. You cannot do any connection without getting in touch with the facility provider. Most times, it is when the person knows that he is doing what is wrong that he resorts to force. This subscriber knew he was doing what was wrong, that was why he used military men to give him cover while he is doing it,” he said.

Meanwhile, AEDC Service Engineer, Engr. Mai Kano Abdullahi, who was seen dismantling the 35mm armoured cable connected illegally and buried underground by the  subscriber of the estate when this writer visited the estate, also confirmed that the AEDC official who carried out the connection embarked on an illegal mission.

Engineer Abdullahi who is the official in charge of Trade mall area, explained that he was under instruction from the AEDC management to dismantle the illegally connected cables.

“Even though I was not informed when the connection was done, they have connected illegally, so I was authourised by my senior management distribution, Engr John to come and disconnect the cable and also uproot it also.”

“One of our staff Mr Jude who claimed he was directed by the marketing supervisor was the one who did the connection.

“I have warned him that in case of next time, whatever technical connection he will do, he should inform me first as far as all the network and distribution transformer are concerned. Being the service engineer whatever connection that is to be carried out I am supposed to be informed,” he said.

On his own part, the subscriber, Richard Okeke of DQ 34, said he mobilized the soldiers to ensure the connection was done because the Feeder Pillar the developer authourised him to connect power from, is far from his house.

“Soldiers came here because ABC Shelters said I was going to buy 120 meters of armoured cable for me to connect light to my house and I said that is quite unfair,” said Okeke.

He claimed the project manager had given him go ahead to take light from the closest Feeder Pillar “and I even invited their own electrician to do the connection, only for Engr Timothy to say the guy will not connect.”

“So, I now invited somebody from outside to come and lay the cable from here to this place and left it to an AEDC staff to connect, so there’s nothing like illegal connection here because it was done by a certified AEDC staff,” he added.

On whether he had any outstanding payments to make to the developer to own the property fully, Okeke said: “ In the last letter I wrote to ABC Shelters, I told them to give me optimal light and give me letter of allocation. If there is any outstanding I have with you, we trash it out. Go and investigate. I have all my documentation, I’m one of the best paying subscriber of ABC Shelters.”

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