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UMAR AMINU KALGO
1. IBRAHIM HUSSAINI (Head of Admin KAEDCO Area Office (B/Kebbi)
2. KADUNA ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY PLC (KAEDCO)
Ibrahim Hussaini in the company of other personnel of the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company PLC (KAEDCO), on the 26-8-2016 disconnected electricity supply to Umar Aminu Kalgo’s residence for three (3) days lasting up to the 29th day of August, 2016. Aminu Kalgo challenged KAEDCO’s action as being illegal and contrary to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s Regulations, 2007.
Aminu Kalgo wrote several correspondences to KAEDCO on the issue and demanding compliance with the Nigerian Electricity Commission’s Regulations, 2007. It was after Aminu Kalgo received no response from KAEDCO that he applied to the Federal High Court Birnin-Kebbi.
Aminu Kalgo’s grouse was that he was disconnected without the statutory written warnings before disconnection, contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s Connection & Disconnection procedures for Electricity Services, 2007 (NERC Rules).
Aminu Kalgo, therefore, sought the following reliefs:
i. an order compelling KADECO to conduct/render its services in strict compliance with the provisions of NERC’S Procedures & Rules, 2007 and
ii. the sum of ₦11,000,000.00 (Eleven-Million Naira) only, as damages against KADECO.
The Federal High Court refused Aminu Kalgo’s reliefs and held that the disconnection of his residence was lawful. Dissatisfied, he appealed to the Court of Appeal.
Was the Federal High Court Birnin-Kebbi right when it held that the disconnection of electricity to Aminu Kalgo’s residence was lawful and did not contravene the Nigerian Electricity Commission’s Regulations, 2007?
The Court of Appeal stated that it is rather clear that the Federal High Court misinterpreted and misapplied the provisions of NERC’s Connection and Disconnection Procedures for Electricity Services, 2007; thus, arriving at a wrong conclusion, that the disconnection of Aminu Kalgo’s house on the said 26th day of August, 2016 by KADECO was lawful.
The Court further stated that it does not agree with the Federal High Court that the existence of debt/unpaid bills extinguishes the protection accorded the customer by the Rules, 2007. The NERC Regulations carry a number of safeguards, which must be complied with before the KADECO could lawfully disconnect customers’ electricity supply to their homes.
In taking closer scrutiny at the case of Aminu Kalgo at the Federal High Court, the Court of Appeal held that it is glaring that he charged KADECO with non-compliance with sections of the relevant laws/regulations which included failure and inability to issue statutory written warnings before disconnection. The Court of Appeal found that KADECO’s failure to comply with the provisions of the NERC Regulations rendered illegal its disconnection of Aminu Kalgo’s residence.
In conclusion, the Court of Appeal set aside the decision of the Federal High Court and granted Aminu Kalgo’s reliefs which included the sum of N500,000.00 as damages.