Communities drag TCN, 6 others to court for negligence

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By Gabriel Enogholase

Benin —LANDLORDS and residents of Etete and Evboriaria communities in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State whose houses are affected by the installation of high tension wires and cables over their buildings by the defunct National Electric Power Authority, NEPA, and the Power Holdings Company of Nigeria, PHCN, have dragged the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company Ltd, NELMC; Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN; and five others to court.

They are alleging negligence, inhuman and improper conduct and grave hazard inimical to their safety and well-being.

Others joined in the suit are the Federal Ministry of Power, Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Attorney-General of the Federation, Attorney-General of Edo State and  Edo State Ministry of Environment and Sustainability.

Plaintiffs in the suit filed at the Benin Division of the Federal High Court by their counsel, Olayiwola Afolabi, are Mr. Gabriel Osagiede, M.I. Amajuoyi, Osaseri Friday, Madam Beatrice Aguebor and Augustine Igbinobaro for themselves and the landlords/residents of the affected communities.

The plaintiffs’ claim against the defendants jointly and severally including a declaration by the court that the installation and continuous erecting/mounting and transmission through the high tension wires and cables by the 1st, 2nd and 4th defendants over their houses already in existence before the aforementioned installations constitute a grave hazard, high degree of negligence, inhuman and inimical to their health and well-being.

In a witness deposition on oath by Mr. Gabriel Osagiede and M.I.Ajuoyi for themselves and other landlords/residents, they averred that between 1970 and1975, they had built their houses and were already living there before the defunct NEPA came in 1980, trespassed and had continued trespassing on their communities and commenced the installation of 330 KV high tension wires over their houses.

They disclosed that when they resisted the move, some of them were arrested and put into detention by the Edo State Police command but at the Police Headquarters, officials of the defunct NEPA deceitfully assured them that    the said installations poses no danger to them and their well-being.


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