Estimated bill: Lawyer sues IKEDC for N5m
A Lagos-based lawyer, James Ogunyemi, has asked a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja to award N5m damages against Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company Plc, over alleged issuance of estimated bills and unlawful disconnection of power supply to his apartment.
Ogunyemi and his co-plaintiff, Igiebor Solomon, who live at Agege, Lagos, claimed that in spite of having functional and accessible meters, IKEDC had been issuing estimated bills to them.
Ogunyemi alleged that the company disconnected power supply to his apartment on December 22, 2014 and March 23, 2015 so as to extort money from him.
He wants the court to declare as criminal and a violation of Section 406 of the Criminal Code Act, the threat and actual disconnection of power supply to his apartment for the purpose of extortion.
The claimant in the supporting affidavit said, â€œThe fraudulent billing with threat of disconnection to extort payment from the claimant and other helpless Nigerians by the officials of the defendant continues till the filing of this suit.
â€œThe defendantâ€™s officials ignominiously confirmed to the first claimant that the revenue target of the defendant must be met with or without reading of meters or supplies of electricity.
â€œIt is criminal and fraudulent of the defendant to pursue its revenue target to the detriment of innocent and helpless Nigerians including the first claimant by extorting payment from them for units of electricity neither supplied nor consumed by the claimants and other Nigerians.â€
They urged the court to restrain IKEDC from further issuing estimated electricity bills on them.
But in opposition to the claimantsâ€™ prayers, IKEDC filed a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.
The defendant contended that IKEDC was wrongly sued, adding that it was not a juristic person who can sue and can be sued.
It said, â€œAn action against a Nigerian company must be brought in the incorporated name of the company as registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
â€œThe Defendant â€˜Ikeja Electricity Distribution Companyâ€™ is not a juristic person recognised by law.
â€œThe suit is incompetent, having been initiated against, and in the name of a non-juristic person. This honourable court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain this suit.â€
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