By Emem Idio
Yenagoa—A Magistrate Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, and presided over by Mr. Ebitari Timi, has slammed the management of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHEDC, over the mass disconnection of residents of Biogbolo community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state, despite an existing order of the court for parties to maintain status quo.
The magistrate described PHEDC’s action as “appa-lling and contemptuous,” and ordered the immediate reconnection and restoration of power to the residents within 48 hours.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, counsel to the complainants, Mr. Chucks Egbulonu, told the court that after the last court adjournment, PHEDC went ahead to carry out mass disconnection of the residents in clear disregard for the interim order of the court and against the orders of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, which warns against mass disconnection by Distribution Companies, DISCO.
He said PHEDC’s action is unwarranted self-help, while the matter is in court challenging the estimated bills imposed on residents, arguing that such action is “wilful disrespect to the court and contemptuous.”
Chairman of Light Committee in the area, Pastor Ken Odi, said residents had dragged the management of PHEDC to court over estimated billing, lamenting that from N2,500, one bedroom flat now pays N13,000 monthly.
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