… Naval Command indebted to the tune of N762m
… Cross River State plunged into darkness
…Nigeria Police, DSS Intervene
Officers of the Nigerian Naval Command – NNS Victory, on Saturday, March 11, 2023 allegedly stormed and pick-up some staff of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution (PHED) Plc in their regional office in Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State over disconnection of electricity to their barracks.
The incident was said to have occurred in the afternoon when ten men identified to be Navy officials invaded the company premises fully armed and whisked away staff of the company who were on duty.
The Naval officials it was gathered carried out the illegal operations at the command of top personel in the Naval Command.
The invading officers were said to have stormed the business premises of the electricity distribution company and took away the staff, in protest for the disconnection of Akim Navy barrack and Atimbo barrack.
The Naval Command is alleged to be owing the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution (PHED) Plc over N740m in unpaid electricity bills accumulated over the years, and an additional current monthly electricity bill charge of N22m.
Although, the command is said to have countered the allegation of picking-up the PHED staff, eye witnesses who saw the incident noted that no warrant of arrest was presented before the action and no charge has been brought against the over fifteen staff taken away by the Naval personel.
Meanwhile, while the officer executed the alleged activities, customers in the company and other members of staff scampered for safety, abandoning their duty post, work tools and millions of naira they had collected from responsible customers who came to the office to pay their electricity bills. Unfortunately, a female staff of the company and a nursing mother, Mrs Abigail Omori, collapsed in the process and was secretly rushed by the Officers to the Reference Hospital, a Naval medical facility in Calabar for treatment.
As at the time of this report, the company has not been allowed access to Mrs Omori and nobody is able to tell her condition.Following this incident, all PHED sub-stations in Cross River state have been shut down and the state plunged into darkness, out of palpable fear of arrest or arrest of its workers in the state by officers of the Naval Command who had announced to the pick-up PHED staff that they had orders to shoot any PHED staff found around any electricity infrastructure supplying power to the Naval Command.
Meanwhile, the Regional Manager of the company, Dr. Gabriel Modupe confirmed the report, insisting that millions of naira collected by staff before the attack are currently missing.
He informed that efforts had been made at engaging the Command to pay their electricity bills without success. The matter has been reported to the Nigerian Police and the Directorate of States Security (DSS) respectively whose attempt to intervene has proved abortive.