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Saturday, June 10, 2023

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Public Letter To Ikeja Electric

I am starting my week with public anger against Ikeja Electric.

This is to call the attention of Ikeja Electric’s Board of Directors, CEO – Mrs. Folake Soetan – and the general public to the corruption and collusion that exists among Ikeja Electric staff, from top to bottom!

The house I live in Ogba has been held hostage by Ikeja Electric for more than two months, through a woman called Yemisi at the Oke Ira Undertaking Office.

We have not had power supply since May!

This Yemisi woman has made it her life mission to victimize us in the house, simply because we have refused to accept her crazy bill that sprung out of nowhere.

In May 2021, we received a bill for energy usage for the month of April 2021, saying that we have been charged the sum of [N1,180,982.85]. Our regular billing falls between N240,000 and N260,000 monthly. Hence, it was alarming to get above 1million as a month’s bill. Did we start a factory in the space of one month??

Mind you, this was a case of history repeating itself again, as we had a similar crazy billing from Ikeja Electric just about a year ago, which NERC had to intervene and we won that case. You can refer to the court case details: IFO/4889/2020.

We protested this outrageous bill and immediately wrote a petition to NERC again to intervene. But we have been unable to get a definite time for our hearing.

It should be noted that Ikeja Electric, through Yemisi – the Oke Ira Undertaking Manager – has disconnected power from our compound since May 25, 2021, to date.

She told us to pay the previous bill (running into 300k+) and a reconnection fee of 15k if we wanted to be reconnected. We did that but this same Yemisi woman reneged on her word and has held us hostage since then, saying that we must pay the N1.1m bill before we can be reconnected.

We have our proof (monthly meter readings, and bills we have paid in the last 18 months) that we do not owe that money, and we have presented our case at different times and levels, but Madam Yemisi insists we must pay because she’s not ready to accept that she has sent us a crazy bill.

She dared us to take the case anywhere and we will meet her there. And we have heard some more rumors that she is well connected within the Ikeja Electric system.

True to her word, we have been to the Alausa office to report the situation, but we keep meeting a brick wall.

The first person we met was concerned after hearing our case and came to the house to investigate. Upon returning to the office to give his report, he called us back and said he had been ordered from above to drop the case. He said he didn’t want to lose his job.

We met other people and the story was the same.

Guess what? In June, we took the case to Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (Lascopa), where we presented our case again and we won against the IKEDC representatives who were present. They promised at the end of the meeting to reconnect us the next day. It’s been more than a month since the DG of Lascopa gave the order, Ikeja Electric has refused to show up to reconnect and Yemisi continues to say no one can give her that order. She said she will not reconnect us, and nothing will happen!

At this point, is Yemisi bigger than Ikeja Electric, is Ikeja Electric not answerable to Lascopa? Is Lascopa actually toothless?

Well, it appears so, because we called Lascopa to report Ikeja Electric’s failure to carry out their order and the response we got was that they also have decided to stop pursuing the case. 😂

This is Nigeria!!!

The story does not end there.

This July, we wrote again to Ikeja Electric customer care, demanding an end to the gross injustice. They finally responded, asking us to pay 30% of the crazy bill if we want to be reconnected, while they embark on an investigation of the bill. Can you imagine??

Tired of burning fuel and the noise of generators every day, we rallied around and raised almost N350k to pay Ikeja Electric. Although some tenants like myself reminded the house that Ikeja Electric through Yemisi has lied to us before, what stops them from collecting our money again and still refusing to reconnect us?

The house decided to send another email to Ikeja Electric demanding that they give their word. We had representatives go to their office for a physical assurance before payment was made.

People of Nigeria, today makes the 11th day after payment, we have not seen a ladder, neither have we seen any Ikeja Electric uniform in front of the house for reconnection.

First, a mail was sent from Alausa HQ to Oke Ira, asking them to reconnect us, but we were told in Oke Ira that the particular person who should be authorized was not copied in the mail. We went back to Alausa only to be told that our house account had been suspended, and so we will have to go to Oregun Business Office to meet one Mr. Faustinus to get a letter. Not giving up, we tried to speak again with this Yemisi woman and she walked us out of her office.

We have been to the Oregun office twice, and even got this Mr. Faustinus’ number, but he kept saying “I am not coming to the office today, I can’t see you.”

Last Thursday, one of us was there to see him. After waiting for over 4 hours, he was told that he didn’t have an appointment. We were told to call Faustinus to get an appointment. We did and he asked us to call him over the weekend. His number was unreachable throughout the weekend.

It appears these people are just tossing us around for their fun, and they have colluded to take money from us and not give us power. In total, we have paid more than N650k between May and now, and we have not had power supply.

At this point, we want to take this last option of publicly calling the attention of the CEO of Ikeja Electric – Mrs. Folake Soetan (@folakesoetan on IG), and the Board of Directors to this issue.

If this fails, we will be left with no choice but to stage a protest, use the mass media, and involve the law. We will demand serious damages for unfair billing, victimization and gross abuse of office.

We are open to a roundtable discussion with relevant stakeholders where we hope this matter will be resolved amicably.

I have put this on LinkedIn and Instagram. I decided to put this here on FB too, so the CEO can take us seriously.

I won’t even mind if blogs carry it from here. This injustice must stop this week!

Thank you very much.

Ikeja Electric

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