Court Warns FG, BPE Against Handover Of Aba To DISCO | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Court Warns FG, BPE Against Handover Of Aba To DISCO

Posted: Sep 10, 2015 at 12:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

lOutage Stalls Senate Hearing On Power Sector

By Tunde Opeseitan, Lagos

David Odama


A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday cautioned the Federal Government and the National Council on Privatization (NPC) against the planned handover of the contentious Aba ring-fenced territory in Abia State to Aba Power Limited (APL).

Specifically, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) had compelled the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to handover the contentious Aba ring-fenced territory in Abia State to Aba Power Limited (APL).

The formal handover had been scheduled to take place today (September 10), at 11 am at the office of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

However, not satisfied with the development, the EEDC and Interstate Electrics Limited had sought a court injunction to stop the impending hand-over.

They also asked the court to award them the sum of N500 million jointly and severally against the 5th and 6th defendants as general and special damages for propagating a libel and malicious campaign of calumny against the plaintiffs.

Trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole after listening to the counsel to the plaintiffs, Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN), ordered the defendants to appear before him on September 22 to show cause why the order of injunction being sought by the plaintiffs would not be granted.

Justice Kolawole cautioned the defendants against going ahead with the planned handover of the Aba ring-fenced territory, pointing out that any attempts by the defendants to interfere with the res (subject matter) of the suit, which is the planned transfer of the Aba ring-fenced territory, would be treated as an act of disobedience to court orders, and that appropriate sanction would be meted out to the contemnors.

In essence, he directed that the status quo be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

Meanwhile, failure of power supply in Abuja, on Wednesday, stalled the hearing session on alleged practices in the power sector at the senate, which later forced the Adhoc Committee on Power, headed by Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno North) to adjourn proceedings.

Investigation could not continue for several hours following the intermittent seizure of power supply by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, from 2:10pm, as the hearing was going on, leading to the use of recharge lamps and camera lights to power the session.

It was the last day of interactive session the committee members had with stakeholders of the power sector, and it started at about 11:30am and ended abruptly at 4:00 pm due to 10-15minute power failure at intervals.

Chairman of the committee, who was not spared the embarrassment from power outage, while commenting on issues raised by some of the stakeholders, vowed to investigate the cause of constant outages.

“The power outages experienced here today further underscores the relevance of this committee at this critical time, but we shall investigate whether they are deliberate or not,” he said.