Illegal billing: Businessman, AEDC explore out of court settlement


A businessman, Jerry Okolo and Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), on Wednesday informed an FCT High Court, Gudu, of an ongoing process of settling out of court.

The suit which was instituted by Okolo along his Landlord, Abimaje Ebute as co-claimant against the AEDC, is over alleged illegal billing.

The claimants in their relief are demanding for the sum of N10 million as general damages for the alleged illegal and unlawful actions of the defendant.

The claimants are also praying for N5 million as damages for inconveniences and losses incurred by them.

In addition, they are seeking for the payment of N500,000 as cost of prosecuting the suit.

When the matter which was slated for report of settlement before Justice Modupe Osho-Adebiyi came up, the claimants counsel, Frank Nnaba informed the court that parties were discussing possibility of settlement, but were yet to conclude.

He therefore prayed for an adjournment to enable parties have enough time to conclude on terms of settlement.

The defence counsel, Ifeanyi Aborgu on his part aligned with the submission of Nnaba.

The judge accordingly adjourned the matter until April 27, for report of settlement or hearing in the event that parties do not reach an agreement.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that in the claimants statement of claim, it was alleged that the defendant had been sending an estimated electricity bill to the house located at FHA, Lugbe, Abuja since 2014, although the house was hardly occupied by any occupant since 2018 when Okolo was transferred out of Abuja.

According to the claim, Okolo said he wrote to the defendant that the estimated billing should be stopped and a pre-payment meter installed, but it was never done.
In addition, he alleged that although he comes to the house on a quarterly basis, the bill kept coming and the AEDC charged for N23,814.39 in one of the months he was away.
He said the electricity supply to the house was disconnected in Aug. 2019 after months of non-payment from him.
Okolo affirmed in the claim that he paid the sum of N5,000 as re-connection fee and on Dec. 24, 2019, a pre-prayment meter was finally installed.
He added that by then, the defendant said he was indebted to them to the sum of N171,000.00 which was the accumulated bills for the period he was disconnected from electricity supply.
Okolo said in furtherance to the alleged indebtedness, every time he made purchases of electricity token from the defendant, 60 per cent of the amount is deducted by way of payment for the alleged N171,000 debt.
He said it was this continual deduction that necessitated the suit and damages he incurred when his things got destroyed due to the disconnection while he was away.

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