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I was duped, extorted – Kaduna Electric consumer, Ojie reveals

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

A Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO) staff is facing accusation of duping and extortion of money by a consumer, Ferdinand Ojie, investigation has revealed.

The accused staff, Engr. Polycarp Daudu Kase, is being accused of extortion by Mr. Ferdinand Ojie, who is Director of Gheto Hotel, located in Television Garage in Kaduna South LG in Kaduna State.

Mr. Ojie explained that, the Kaduna Electric Company staff in-charge of the unit located at Barnawa Junction, has been coming to his place and extorted money from him in the name of “finding fault” related to bypass or another.

Contacted for clarification, Head, Corporate Communication Kaduna Electricity Distribution Plc, Mr. Abdulazeez Abdullahi, rejected the calls and demanded for text message through text he sent to our reporter, but Abdullahi could not respond to SMSs later sent to him till the time of filling this reports.

An insider, however, said a panel has already been constituted in KAEDCO Head Office to investigate the allegations of duping and extortion leveled against the company staff.

But the alleged victim of extortion, Mr. Ojie, told our reporter that the KAEDCO staff extorted between N5,000 and N150,000, and even more from him within the period.

Mr. Ojie lamented that the said staff came and parked entire electric wires at a time and left his hotel in blackout for three solid months because of his inability to complete payment of the extorted money charged him.

According to Ojie, it became obvious to him that he was being duped when the electric staff, Engr. Daudu Kase, collected money from him through his personal Access Bank account where he paid in directly with evidence of POS transaction slip made available to journalists.

“My name is Oga Ferdinand Ojie, Director Gheto Hotel. The problem that brought me here is because of an engineer, called Polycarp Daudu Kase, a Kaduna Electricity Company staff in Barnawa Junction. I learnt he is the engineer in-charge of the place, taking care of television. 

“He always comes to my place to collect money from me, dupes me, find faults all these time, but I have been keeping quiet. There was a time he came, that my boy bye-passed, and that he took pictures of the place. We tried to plead with him. I was not around when my boys were trying to plead within. 

“In fact, he told me very clearly that, if they dress nearer to him, he will snap them and take to the police as evidence of assault. When I came, they said he has left for inside Television where they were disconnecting light. 

“That was early this year. When I met him there, he told me my boys were doing bye-pass, I told there was nothing like that. He brought out his phone and started showing me meter. And what I saw in the phone was not my meter. 

“I now said, ok, what do we do now? He said I should go and bring N50,000 and pay for lost of revenue. I started pleading with him that as a business man I can’t stay or do without light. If my boys have done this, I will question them. 

“He said I should bring N35,000. I still pleaded him with everything. At the end of the day he collected N30,000 cash. After collecting the money he sent his boys to go and connect my light back. 

In less than two months’ interval, the guy came again; then I was around, and said we are not loading the meter well the way we are loading it. I asked, what’s the problem? Before you know, he asked his boys to disconnect me.

“We started pleading, and many people came out there. Before you know what happened, he collected N10,000 from me and left. 

“This one again, I traveled this year, 2022, by 20th August, to my village. Three days later – 23rd August, to be precise – they called me and said he has come again and parked all my wires and my meter and went away with it. 

“From then, I started talking with him. I asked one of my boys to go and meet him. The boy went and said he said we should pay N150,000 before they will reconnect the light; that he is going to forward all the evidence to their headquarters. 

“My boy said I should send money to give him. I sent N20,000 the first time, he gave him, but he said it’s not enough, that until we pay half of the money. After so much pleading, he said N100,000.

“I now sent N40,000 to my boy to give him. He collected the money but could not connect the light until I came back September ending. 

“Coming back, he said I have to pay the balance of the money again before reconnecting the light back. I told him I’ve no money to pay him again, but he insisted I must complete the N100,000 before he will reconnect the light.

“With time, when he knew I was not having the money and did not even want to give him the money, because I knew he did not forward the case to anywhere, he kept me out of light for like more than three months; my business was down.

“After much more pleading, again, he said I should give N20,000 for him to take the meter to the Head Office to work on it. I told him my meter has no problem. He said he knows, but that he wants to write a letter, that’s only conditions that will make him to come and connect the light.

“Write a letter, and put it in the Head Office there that my meter has a problem that me came to complain to them that my meter has problem so that he will use that to go and work on meter, bring back and put for me. 

“I now said, Ok, let me pay into your account number – that was when now I have his account number – and then paid the money (N20,000) into his account. And the next two days he brought the meter and asked me to pay another N5,000 before he will sent his boy to connect the light. So, I now have to pay to his account again, 5k, which I’ve evidence. 

“The other monies were collected in cash by him. After collecting the money, he sent his boy to come and connect the meter. After fixing the meter, he came with the letter he wrote to the Head Office and gave me a copy of it, that in case they will ask me of the meter, I should tell them that I’ve already written a letter to the Head Office. 

“The letter, I did not know how it was written and signed. I collected the letter, too, and it’s with me as evidence. For sure, I was not having problem with the meter.

“Immediately he gave it to me, I sealed and started recharging it, and using it as usual. But, why I’m making this complaint is that, he comes so often, and anytime he wants he will just come and say, “give me money.” I don’t just know what I have done to this man. I want the security to look into it and, please, stop him from coming to harass me, because I’m loading my meter and it’s sealed and is ok,” Ojie narrated, in pains.

Also contacted, Engr. Polycarp Daudu Kase insisted that there was meter bye-pass, and did not agree to all the accusations, but explained that “Money was paid into my bank account number sent to Mr. Ojie by someone else – my friend, Zafanian – and not by himself.”

He also showed snapshots of alleged meter bye-pass, although Ojie dismissed it on grounds that the (returned) meter is different from his own.

The accused, however, later agreed, along with two of his colleagues, who accompanied him, to be given some time to go and plead, refund monies, and settle with Mr. Ojie, and get back to our reporter, in a day or two. But this could not be achieved, as the matter has been reported to the headquarters and is being investigated.

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