Electricity Distribution Companies Lament Energy Theft

Electricity distribution companies in the country have raised alarm over what it described as rampant energy theft among consumers, especially in rural communities.

The DISCOS also denied extortion in the electricity billing system, noting that consumers were billed based on what was read on the grid.

Representative of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) , Adeniyi David while speaking at the lunch of a new crime reporting and security-management system targeted at tracking and reporting criminal activities, noted that bypass of meters was still at an alarming rate in Nigeria.

“Billing is not based on what consumers are consuming. If you see anybody stealing power, know that he is the one causing the problem; energy theft is the problem. Bypassing of meter is still a problem in the country. If people are reporting the theft and vandalism, then the problem will be low,” he said.

Also, the CEO of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Ernest? Mpwaya, noted that the firm had to leverage on technology in order to deliver better services.

He assured that the company would integrate its in-house measure of responding to vandalism of its facilities with the new application, said survival and sustenance of the business was key.

Mpwaya said that the new initiative would provide the firm with additional capacity and visibility to be able to interact with the customers.

The initiative, which involves sending security reports and complaints through Hawk Eye Application, was also intended to reduce the high-level of vandalism of power as well as oil and gas facilities which had negatively impacted the power sector.

Speaking at the launch weekend in Abuja, the chief executive officer of Hawk Eye, Kayode Aladesuyi, disclosed that the free application could equally be used to report security threats and potential dangers in any part of the country.

He said that the firm which developed the application was undertaking the pilot phase of the roll-out with electricity distribution companies to curtail damages done to their facilities and help them improve on their service delivery.

He expressed sadness at the situation where about 150 persons were said to have been electrocuted in 2015, and said that residents can use the opportunity of the application to inform their neighbours of areas that posed risk for them.

According to him, the action of people stealing power can, as well, be reported through the new application.

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Court convicts companies of laundering Patience Jonathan’s $15.5m

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday convicted four companies of laundering $15.5m kept in their accounts with Skye Bank.

The companies – Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development & Investment Co. Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited – are linked with a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had in August frozen the accounts of the four companies and seized the $15m in the course of probing Dudafa for money laundering.

But wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan had sued the EFCC and Skye Bank, claiming ownership of the $15.5m.

On Thursday, Justice Babs Kuewumi convicted the four companies of laundering the $15.5m.

The companies had on September 15, 2016 pleaded guilty to laundering the money when they were arraigned by the EFCC along with Dudafa, a lawyer, Amajuoyi Briggs; and a banker, Adedamola Bolodeoku.

But Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku pleaded not guilty.

Based on the guilty plea of the companies, the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, reviewed the facts of the case and told the court how the companies laundered the money.

Oyedepo tolf the judge that the money was stolen from the State House, Abuja.

He said, “The EFCC received an intelligence report showing vividly that the fourth to seventh defendants retained proceeds of crime.

“Our investigations showed that Fetus Iyoha admitted receiving the fund from the first defendant (Dudafa). Iyoha is a domestic staff at the State House.

“He admitted that funds credited into the accounts were given to him from the State House.”

Oyedepo said Iyoha paid $3,096,377.38 into Pluto’s account; $3,410,534.71 into Seagate’s account; $3,765,711.87 into Trans Oceans’ account; and $250,000 into Avalon Global’s account.

He said the accounts of the companies were domiciled in Skye Bank.

Justice Kuewumi admitted the accounts statements in evidence. He also admitted their mandate cards, certificates of incorporation and statements made to the EFCC by the companies’ representatives.

While convicting the companies of money laundering, the judge said he was satisfied that the EFCC had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt.

“I am satisfied that the prosecution has proved its case. I’ll exercise my discretion to suspend sentence until conclusion of trial,” the judge held.

Following the companies’ conviction, Oyedepo urged the court to order the forfeiture of the money to the Federal Government.

“Having found them guilty, the court should make a consequential order that the money should be forfeited to the Federal Government,” he said.

But the judge declined the application, saying he would reserve decision on the money till the end of the case. He noted that there was still Patience suit, where she is claiming ownership of the money.

AMCON Shuts Senator Bruce’s Companies Over Debt

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria on Thursday morning sealed the Abuja premises of Silverbird Galleria belonging to Senator Ben Murray Bruce.

The galleria currently houses the Abuja studio of the Radio and Television stations of the senator as well as his other business interests.

Apart from Bruce’s companies, the seven storey building also houses other business interest of private individuals such as Shoprite, among others.

The building was sealed by AMCON through the assistance of law enforcement agencies around 8am following a court order secured by AMCON.

Conspicuously written on the fence of the building as well as other strategic locations was an enforcement notice by AMCON which says, “Possession taken by court order 26/06/16.”

Credit: Punch

See Names Of Army Officers, Companies Buhari Ordered EFCC To Probe Over Arms Procurements

The fight against corruption may have entered a new level as the President has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to further investigate alleged misconduct established against some retired and serving officers of the Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Army.

According to a statement by the President’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, this directive by President Muhammadu Buhari follows the recommendation of the committee established to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the armed forces and defence sector from 2007 to 2015.

The officers indicted are former Chief of Defence Staff, Retired Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh; Former Chief of Air Staff, Retired Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar, and former Chief of Air Staff, Retired Air Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu.

The others are Major General E.R. Chioba (Rtd), Air Vice Marshal I.A. Balogun (Rtd), Air Vice Marshal A.G. Tsakr (Rtd), Air Vice Marshal A.G. Idowu (Rtd), Air Vice Marshal A.M. Mamu, Air Vice Marshal, O.T. Oguntoyinbo, Air Vice Marshal T. Omenyi, Air Vice Marshal J.B. Adigun, Air Vice Marshal R.A. Ojuawo, and Air Vice Marshal J.A. Kayode-Beckley.

Others are; Air Commodore Sa Yushau (Rtd), Air Commodore A.O. Ogunjobi, Air Commodore G.M.D. Gwani, Air Commodore S.O. Makinde, Air Commodore A.Y. Lassa, Colonel N. Ashinze, and Lt. Colonel Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (Rtd).

Also to be investigated are the roles of the officers and some companies and their directors in what the statement describes as fundamental breaches associated with the procurement by the offices of the National Security Adviser and the Nigerian Air Force.

They include: Himma Aboubakar, Aeronautical Engineering And Technical Services Limited, Messrs Syrius Technologies and Sky Experts Nig Ltd, among others.

According to the statement, the procurement processes were arbitrarily carried out and characterized by irregularities and fraud, while in many cases, the items procured failed to meet their required purposes, especially the counter insurgency operations in the north east.

Credit: ChannelsTv

NNPC Drastically Reduces Crude Lifting Companies From 43 To 16

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has cut down the number of companies that will handle the contract of lifting Nigeria’s crude from 43 to 16. The drastic reduction is part of the Corporation’s transformation agenda aimed at keeping its operation lean, efficient and transparent to reduce cost.

Its spokesman, Ohi Alegbe said the decision is a novel move to instill transparency and probity in the award of the annual Crude Oil Term Contract for 2015/2016. He said: “NNPC yesterday mapped out measures to execute the 2015/2016 award of contract to companies for the evacuation of Nigeria’s crude oil equity from the various crude and condensate production arrangements.”

Read More: thenationonlineng