Delta State high court sitting ordered the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) To Install a prepaid Metre for a hotel known as Golden Tulip Hotel, Effurun-Warri.
TheNigeriaLawyer (TNL) reports that the Golden Tulip hotel, Delta State, as claimant, is supplied power by BEDC Which refused to install a prepaid meter in the claimant’s hotel but rather, BEDC was more comfortable in issuing estimated bills which are outrageous and do not reflect the power consumed by the hotel.
Each time the bills are challenged, and the hotel refuses to make a payment on the bills being challenged, BEDC cuts off the power supply to the hotel and the hotel only gets reconnected to power when it makes payment on the disputed bills.
Therefore, J. O. Aikpokpo-Martins Esq, filed an action against BEDC to the High Court, Effurun in Suit No. EHC/177/2016 on behalf of the owner of the hotel, G. K. O Properties Limited. BEDC was defended by Charles Ajuyah, SAN.
In a well-considered judgment of the Hon. Justice M. N. Obi of the Delta State High Court, sitting at Effurun on the 17th of December, 2019, the court held thus that “the defendant’s (BEDC) acts of disconnecting the claimant’s hotel and/or threat to disconnect her hotel from electricity source in order to compel the payment of the defendant’s disputed bills of consumption by the claimant runs contrary to Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission Customer Complaints Handling; Standards and Procedures and therefore unlawful.”
The court in Delta State further declared that “the defendant’s wilful refusal to install a high voltage prepaid meter to read and calculate the power consumption of the claimant, is deliberate to generate bills that do not reflect the actual consumption of power at the claimant’s hotel.”
The court, therefore, order thus; “Accordingly, it is hereby that the defendant shall within 14 days from today set in motion the process of installing a high voltage prepaid meter at the claimant’s hotel and complete the process in 30 days from today.
It is also ordered that the defendant shall set in motion within 7 days from today the process as provided for in Regulation 3 (10) of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission Customer Complaints Handling; Standards and Procedures to resolve the issue of the disputed bills and until the issue of the disputed bill is resolved by the arbiter, claimant’s hotel shall not be disconnected from power supply.”