Estimated Billings: Customer drags AEDC to court, demands N50m as damages

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja

Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has been dragged before a Lokoja High Court over alleged estimated billing and illegal disconnection by an aggrieved customer, Mr Ugochukwu Orakwue, claiming N50 million damages.

has dragged Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) before a Lokoja High Court demanding for N50 million in punishment/damages over alleged wrong billing.

Orakwue, a resident of Lokoja, in the originating summon, filed before Court presided over by Justice Nicodemus Awulu of Kogi State High Court II, alleged that the AEDC deliberately refused to read his Postpaid Metre.

As a result, he said, the electricity distribution company was giving him astronomical estimated bill with outrageous charges adding that AEDC disconnected his electricity supply for nonpayment in less than 10 days of the bill date, without issuing a disconnection notice as stipulated by Law.

Orakwue prayed the court to issue an order restraining the defendant from further issuing him electricity bills based on estimation but based on the actual reading of his postpaid meter.

He also prayed the court to issue a declaration that the defendant’s act of issuing him electricity bills based on estimation instead of actual reading of his post paid meter contravened the NERC’s Regulations and therefore illegal, null and void.

He also sought “A declaration that all the electricity bills issued to the claimant by the AEDC based on estimation starting from the bill of 19th Oct. 19, 2015, being exercise or action founded on illegality are null, void and of no legal effect or consequence.

“A declaration that AEDC’s action of concealing the information of the claimant’s status as a metered customer by the wilful refusal to insert the his meter number in his electricity bills contravenes the NERC’s regulation and therefore illegal, null and void.

“A declaration that the defendant’s act of disconnecting the claimant’s electricity supply for nonpayment in less than ten (10) days of the bill date, without issuing a disconnection notice to the claimant even when the complaint filed by him against the bills remains unresolved and contravened the NERC’s regulations and therefore, illegal, null and void.

“A declaration that the claimant is entitled to be refunded the sum of N25,000 and Three Thousand Naria (N3,000) reconnection fee coercively collected from him by the defendant on the July 28, 2023 before the reconnection of his electricity supply illegally or unlawfully disconnected by the defendant.”

Orakwue prayed for the payment of the Sum of N30 million to him being Exemplary/ Punitive Damages for the defendant’s punishable conducts.

The claimant also prayed for the sum of N20 million being General Damages for the wrongs the defendant caused him.

When the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, the AEDC Counsel, Mr G.D. Dubai, told the court that the defendant was in discussion with the claimant to settle out of court.

“My Lord, we have commenced discussion with the claimant and most of the issues raised have been forwarded to the management at the Headquarters in Abuja for approval.

“We shall be asking for a date to report back to your Lordship the out come of our out of court settlement, ” Dubai pleaded.

Orakwue, however, did not opposed the application but confirmed it as the true position of things.

In his ruling, Justice Nicodemus Awulu, adjourned the case to Feb. 22, for the report of settlement and/or continuation of hearing.