Funke Osibodu confirms arrest over BEDC’s board reconstitution
• Says company loses N750m in one month over attempted forceful takeover
By Paul Michael,
The Managing Director, Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Mrs Funke Osibodu, has confirmed her arrest by the operatives of the Special Tactical Squad, Force Headquarters Abuja.
Recall that Mrs Osibodu was on Monday whisked away from the Headquarters of BEDC in Benin city after initial resistance by the Staff of the company. It was gathered that the MD was taken to Edo state police headquarters.
Public Relations Officer of the Company, Mr Ibe Odoh told The Trumpet on Tuesday that Mrs Osibodu was taken by the operatives, who were shooting sporadically and manhandling staff, following a petition written by Dr Henry Ajagbawa over allegations of threat to life and illegal trespass.
Dr Ajagbawa was said to have arrived at the BEDC office on July 8 to take over the management of the company as the new managing director following the alleged reconstitution of the board by the Federal Government.
Mrs Osibodu while addressing news men on Tuesday in Benin, said despite a Court order barring Ajagbawa and his group from taking over BEDC, they still brought the police from Abuja to obstruct the company’s operation and tried to apprehend her.
She, however, said when the operatives from Abuja took her to the police headquarters for questioning, it was discovered that the law was on her side, so couldn’t do her anything.
According to her, she showed the police the restraining court injunction of July 8 by a Federal High Court in Abuja against Ajagbawa and his group before they let her go.
“The police who claimed they came from Abuja said I have committed threat to the life of Ajagawa unlawful restrain and trespass. They invited me to the police headquarters in Benin for questioning.
“Till date, I have not received any official document from the BPE or BEDC board mandating anybody to take over BEDC affairs but somebody just marched to the office and said, I have been asked to take over, this is not law.
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“From the record, there is no official document, written to the board of BEDC that I have been removed, but what we see was in pages of newspapers that we have been removed and that is not how the law works,” she stated.
She alleged that somebody is using his office to suppress the rule of law, saying that Ajagbawa resorted to self-help because he didn’t succeed in the initial takeover.
“The case is that sometimes ago, there was supposedly takeover of five DISCO announced by BPE, three of them because Fidelity bank claimed that they are going to exercise their right over shares and BPE knows that Fidelity doesn’t have the shares of BEDC as the cover investor never pledged BEDC shares,” she added.
The BEDC MD further disclosed that the company has lost N750 million in one month due to what she described as illegal taking over of operation of the company.
“We resumed last week because we have a court injunction against them and during the period of the alleged forceful takeover of BEDC, we lost N750 million in collection in one month.
“The collection went down and if you don’t have money, you can’t purchase power for distribution,” she stated.
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