Benue: Perm sec, directors arrested over missing transformer

The Benue State Police Command has arrested a permanent secretary and two directors (names withheld) for allegedly removing a transformer belonging to Jos Electricity Distribution Company, JEDC.

JEDC’s Head of Corporate Communications, Dr Adakole Elijah, who spoke to newsmen on the phone on Wednesday, said the officials were arrested by the police on Tuesday afternoon.

He said trouble started when the company, on July 6, 2024, discovered that one of its transformers was missing.

Elijah said the transformer was removed from an industrial area of Makurdi.

He explained that they launched an investigation into the matter and discovered that the transformer was removed by people in broad daylight.

Elijah narrated: “They even went with hardware and did sand-filling to enter and pick the transformer. Along the line, one security man confirmed that he was the one who assisted them in removing the transformer.

“One of the government officials arrested confirmed that he took the transformer to his house. The issue became serious. As we pushed, he too pushed so that it would become a state government matter, so they could cover the whole thing by pushing it to the Ministry of Community and Rural Development.

“Along the line, the IPO that was carrying out the investigation, with one other police officer, went with a crane and our men to recover the transformer from the ministry back to the police station where the case is being handled, but the directors at the ministry resisted.

“I advised the regional manager to try and see the commissioner. When the commissioner came, she said no, that she would not allow them to carry the transformer. Instead, they locked the gate and didn’t allow anyone to come in.

“We then reached out to the Commissioner of Police, who mobilised and sent a reinforcement to go and break the gate and bring the transformer. The transformer was recovered and brought to police headquarters.

“The persons arrested were the permanent secretary of the ministry and two directors. They are still in police custody. If the police don’t release them, they will be charged in court. But we want the media to know that arrests have been made in connection with this transformer.”

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of Benue State Police Command, SP Catherine Anene, confirmed the arrest.

She said: “Arrest was made yesterday but they have not given me the report.”

She, however, did not disclose the identities of those arrested.

Benue: Perm sec, directors arrested over missing transformer

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