Abuja electricity firm fined N18m over girl’s death
The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has been sanctioned sanctions for negligence that resulted in the electrocution of an eight-year-old girl, Faith Yakubu, at Anguwan Dodo, Gwagwalada, in the Federal Capital Territory.
The electricity distribution company was found guilty of the offence and fined N18 million by the regulatory authority, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
The Commission said the accident occurred when a staff of AEDC disconnected the wires feeding the residence of one of its consumers over alleged non-payment of accumulated electricity bills.
The disconnected electricity wires were left loosely on the ground by a technical staff without disconnecting the source of electricity supply from the transformer.
The Commission said little Faith had, unknown to her, grabbed the naked wires with her bare hands in an attempt to cross over them while running an errand for the parents.
The child was electrocuted along with a four-month-old boy she strapped on her back.
While the young girl was lost her life, the baby on her back survived the accident.
The Commission said in Abuja on Monday that it had upheld the recommendations in the report on the Panel on Accident Investigation set up to investigate the incident.
The panel had found the distribution company culpable of negligence which resulted in the electrocution of the young girl in a location within the company’s franchise area.
“AEDC shall pay Eighteen Million Naira (N18 million) as compensation to the family of Faith Yakubu and communicate same to the Commission accordingly,” the commission said in a statement on the accident.
In addition, NERC said the “AEDC should ensure that the surviving four month old child undergoes medical check-up in a recognised hospital and evidence presented to the Commission for further directives.”
To avoid similar incidents in the future, the Commission also directed the electricity distribution company to carry out regular safety enlightenment campaigns in accordance with the Nigeria Electricity Safety Manual and Nigeria Electricity Safety Code.
The commission directed AEDC to adequately train its staff on market regulations as well as ensure that its Marketing Units were provided with competent technical staff with the sole responsibility of carrying out the function of connection and disconnection of customers when all conditions for disconnections in line with NERC’s regulations have been met.
Spokesperson to the AEDC, Ahmed Shekarau, said the company was yet to receive any formal communication on the sanctions.
Regardless, Mr. Shekarau, who described the incident as unfortunate, said when it happened the company did everything it could to identify with the affected family.
He said whenever AEDC receives a formal statement on the sanctions by NERC, it would react appropriately in line with the law.