Customer accuses Ikeja DisCo official of seeking bribe to replace faulty meter – reports The Nation

Customer accuses Ikeja DisCo official of seeking bribe to replace faulty meter – reports The Nation


The Nation newspaper has a report about an aggrieved Ikeja Electricity (IE) customer who lamented the difficulty he encountered in getting a replacement for his faulty pre-paid meter one year after applying for it.

The customer, a senior journalist and former presidential aide, who pleaded anonymity, recounted his bitter experience at the hands of IE team.

He said that after fulfilling the necessary process online, a team from the firm conducted a survey on his house at Ikosi, a Lagos suburb and thereafter generated a payment code.

There, he said, was where trouble started.

The media practitioner said his curiosity on the demand for payment arose because being a member of a committee set up by the Federal Government in conjunction with the NERC (National Electricity Regulation Commission) on mass metering years ago, he was aware that funds were released to electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to procure meters for the mass metering of customers as a pre-condition to raise tariff.

He was directed to contact a staffer of the Ikeja Disco, one Mr. Kerry Onyeabor, to facilitate the installation of a new meter to replace the faulty one.

A twist came when Onyeabor demanded payment for “fast track” and the former presidential aide demanded the company’s account to pay into.

Rather than send the corporate account, Onyeabor reportedly sent his personal account with OPay (account no: 8166412743), via WhatsApp.

After tarrying in payment, a dilly-dallying game ensued. On August 8, the top journalist said he received a call from Onyeabor intimating him that a team was already at his house to install the meter, but that when he called his security man, he was told no meter was brought.

Two days later, the same team was said to have returned to the premises to install the meter but claimed it couldn’t do so because of a “car parked beside an electric pole.”

The customer believed the IE operators were only deploying delay tactics to extract “bribes” from him “because I wondered how the parking of a car close to the pole outside could obstruct the installation of a meter on a board that is inside the compound and several feet away.”

On August 19, in a WhatsApp chat between the complainant and the IE staff, the staffer assured that the meter would be installed and that he would be expecting his fund. “I will be expecting my funds boss – Opay 8166412743 Nwaonai Kerry Onyeabor.”

At this point, the aggrieved customer expressed anger at the extortionate antics of the IE official, insisting that as a good-matured person he wouldn’t hesitate to show “appreciation after a good job had been done but not demanding bribe from me before doing your job.”

To this, Onyeabor replied in text sighted by this reporter: “I am not chasing money that was not already spent sir. I have done everything (paid for the meter and fast tracking).”

An analysis of the conversation revealed that Onyeabor claimed to have incurred N20, 000 for “fast tracking” the meter allocation process and also another N20, 000 for installation of the meter.

The complainant reached out to Onyeabor on August 21 but was fruitless as the staffer claimed he was ill, promising to “solve the matter tomorrow when I get to the office.”

It turned out to be another failed promise.

Efforts by The Nation to get a response from Ikeja electric have met a brick wall.

On August 21, this reporter contacted the media officer of IE, Mr. Akinola Ayeni, for confirmation if Onyeabor is on IE payroll. The Nation also sought to get confirmation whether a customer seeking meter replacement for a faulty meter has to pay for such replacement, and to also get a clarification on why the installation was being delayed.