Court jails power thief, remands phone dealer

Court jails power thief, remands phone dealer

An unemployed resident of Dansoman in Accra, who stole electricity cables belonging to the Accra East Region of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), has been sentenced to one year in prison. 

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Geoffrey Obuobi was convicted after pleading guilty to three counts of stealing, unlawful damage and intentionally interfering with the supplier’s distribution.

The Circuit Court presided over by Bright Samuel Acquah sentenced the convict to one year imprisonment on each count but to run concurrently.

Obuobi was said to have used a cutter to cut core copper cable measuring 1×185 and valued at GH¢7,550 belonging to the power distributor.

He was caught pulling the stolen cable from a transformer at Ridge when officials of ECG who were responding to a power outage arrived at the scene.

Facts

Facts presented by the prosecution led by Paul Abariga indicated that the Accra East District of ECG has been experiencing rampant stealing of their electrical cables in the transformers over a period.

It said on October 19, 2023, the Ridge school called the ECG emergency line and complained of a power outage.

Seth Abrakwa Adjei, an employee of the ECG led a team of technicians to the school and on arrival they saw the convict pulling a cable from the transformer and he was arrested.

The facts said further checks on the transformer revealed that the convict had used a cutter to cut core copper cable 1×185 valued at GH¢7,550.

He was taken to the ECG investigation office and a complaint was made, investigation caution statement was obtained from him and he confessed to the crime in the presence of an independent witness.

Phone dealer remanded

In a similar development, a phone dealer has also been remanded in police custody for stealing power as well as assaulting an employee of ECG.

Habib Shaibu is before an Accra Circuit Court on charges of stealing, causing harm and one count of intentionally interfering with the supplier’s distribution.

He pleaded not guilty to all three charges and was remanded by Bright Samuel Acquah, to reappear on December 8, 2023.

The accused is alleged to have assaulted the complainant who was checking an illegal connection the accused had undertaken.

He is said to have head butted the complainant, leading him to bleed profusely and had to be rushed to hospital.

The prosecuting facts state that the complainant, Frank Afako, an employee of ECG revenue protection unit, together with his colleagues, visited the accused at his shop at Ashaley Botwe and realised he had used a 2.5 cable to tap power before the ECG installed prepaid meter in his shop.

It said the complainant disconnected the power and issued accused person summons to report at ECG office at Legon but he failed to do so.

On April 4, 2023, complainant and his team revisited the accused person’s shop and realised that he had removed the installed ECG prepaid meter and had replaced it with a postpaid meter.

“Accused person was asked the whereabouts of the removed prepaid meter but he could not answer.

The leader of the team ordered the complainant to disconnect the power and remove the postpaid meter.” 

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When complainant removed the meter and went outside the shop, accused person became furious and rushed on the complainant.

Accused person then held the complainant’s head and used his head to hit his mouth. Immediately, blood started oozing out from his mouth,” the facts state.

It said Mr Afako was rushed to Obojo polyclinic for treatment but he was later referred to the Tema General Hospital for treatment.

The case was referred to ECG investigation unit and police medical form was issued to the complainant and he returned same duly endorsed by a medical officer from the Tema General Hospital.

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“During investigation, police visited the scene at accused person’s shop.

 At the scene it was realised that the accused person had reconnected ECG power directly and he was using same for his business.”

Shaibu was invited to assist with investigation and on August 30, 2023, he reported himself and investigation caution statement was obtained from him, after which he was charged and dragged before court.

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