Defence & Security

BEDC’s MD in police net for alleged threat to life, illegal trespass

By Paul Michael

The Managing Director of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Mrs Funke Osibudu has been allegedly arrested by a team of Special Tactical Squad, Force Headquarters Abuja for alleged threat to life and trespass.

Mrs Osibudu was whisked away on Monday from the Headquarters of BEDC in Benin city after initial resistance by the Staff which led to destruction of some property.

It was gathered that Mrs Osibudu was taken to Edo state police headquarters.

It was reported in some media (not The Trumpet) that Osibudu’s arrest was done by the Federal Government to enforce change of the management and board of the company by Federal government.

Recall that the FG had on July 2022 reconstituted the boards of five power distribution companies including BEDC and those of Kano, Kaduna, Ibadan and Port Harcourt.

However, there have been ongoing resistance by the BEDC management led by Osibudu against takeover by the Federal government’s newly reconstituted board.

While the BEDC had argued that on July 8, 2022, it obtained an Interim Order of the Federal High Court in an attempt to halt the board’s reconstitution process, the Director-General (DG) of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Alex Okoh, who is representing the Federal government explained in a statement, that the order was obtained after the new boards had been reconstituted on July 5, 2022.

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The reconstitution of the boards of the five DisCos arose following poor performances of the DisCos in electricity supply to their respective franchise areas and their inability to repay the loans obtained to acquire majority stakes in the DisCos in furtherance of the 2013 privatisation exercise.

When contacted by The Trumpet, the Public Relations Officer of BEDC, Mr Ibe Odoh, said the arrested of the company’s MD by the security personnel has nothing to do with the ongoing board reconstitution saga.

Mr Odoh said the arrested followed a petition by one Mr Henry Ajagbawa over allegations of threat to life and illegal trespass by the company.

“There has been this issue of Board dissolution and reconstitution, which BEDC has obtained a court injunction on and everybody is aware of this.

“However, yesterday (Monday) uniform men came to the office, they shot radically into the air and manhandling staff that they were looking for the MD.

“The MD has to obliged them and followed them to the police station. On getting there, the police said there was a petition by one Mr Henry Ajagbawa of illegal trespass by BEDC property and threat to life.”

Odoh also added that Mrs Osibudu was released immediately while debunking that her arrest was not in connection with the FG’s reconstituted board.

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