Outrageous Estimated Bills: Kogi Resident Sues AEDC, Demands N50million Damages

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An aggrieved customer has sued the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) at the Kogi State High Court in Lokoja, demanding N50 million in general damages over alleged wrong billing.

The claimant, Ugochukwu Orakwue, a resident of Kogi State, in the suit filed before the judge, Nicodemus Auwalu, alleged that the AEDC deliberately refused to read his Postpaid Metre for billing him, and instead, imposes outrageous estimated bills on him.

Mr Orakwue prayed the court to restrain the defendant from further issuing him electricity bills based on estimation, but based on the actual reading of his postpaid meter.

He prayed the court to declare that the defendant’s act of issuing him electricity bills based on estimation instead of based on the actual meter reading of his postpaid electricity meter contravenes the regulations of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, and therefore illegal, null and void.

His other prayers include: “A declaration that all the electricity bills issued to the claimant by the AEDC based on estimation starting from the bill of 19” 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 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’s 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 July 28, 2023, before the reconnection of his electricity supply illegally or unlawfully disconnected by the defendant.”

Mr Orakwue also prayed for an order compelling the defendant to refund to him the sum of N28,000 being the amount coercively collected from him by the defendant on the 28 July 2023 before the reconnection of his electricity supply.

He prayed for the payment of the sum of N30 million to him being exemplary/ punitive damages for the defendant’s punishable conduct.

The claimant also prayed for the sum of N20 million being general damages for the wrongs the ‘defendant caused the claimant.

When the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, the AEDC’s counsel, 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 outcome of our out-of-court settlement,” Mr Dubai pleaded.

Mr Orakwue, who has no counsel representing him, did not oppose the application but confirmed it as the true position of things.

The judge then adjourned the case until 22 February for a report of settlement and/or continuation of hearing.


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