Electricity power thief jailed six months in Tamale

Wahab Shizaf will pay GHC10,096.55, the sum of estimated power (electricity) stolen from the utility provider Northern Electricity Distribution Company Limited (NEDCo)

The Tamale District Court (1) has sentenced a man to a jail term of six months in hard labour without the option of a fine for stealing power (engaging in illegal electricity connection).

His Worship Justice Derrick Annan, Magistrate of the Court, in addition to the six-month jail term, also slapped the convict, Wahab Shizaf, who hails from Bulpela, a suburb of Tamale, with a fine of 500 penalty units amounting to GHC6,000.00 to be paid to the state.

Also, the convict will pay GHC10,096.55, the sum of estimated power (electricity) stolen from the utility provider Northern Electricity Distribution Company Limited (NEDCo).

The magistrate, in reading out the sentence, indicated that if the convict failed to pay the fine of GHC6,000.00, the fine shall automatically convert to an additional jail term of seven months thereby making his cumulative jail term 13 months.

The convict, Wahab Shiraz, pleaded guilty to the charge of “interference with electricity distribution system” contrary to Rule 41(2A) and 1(6) of the Electricity Supply and Distribution Rules 2005 (L.I. 1816), and was convicted on his own plea.

Wahab Shiraz’s activities were discovered in December 2023 during the mop-up leg of the Mass Revenue Mobilisation Exercise Phase three, an initiative undertaken by NEDCo, to help curb the rising illegal connections menace in Tamale.

Wahab Shiraz was issued an illegal connection notice to report to the NEDCo office for the necessary investigations, but he failed to show up.

NEDCo was, therefore, left with no option than to fall back on the justice system for redress.

The matter was reported to the police in Tamale.

Esther Yirbom, counsel for NEDCo, speaking at the precincts of the court after proceedings, urged members of the public, especially those engaged in illegal connections, to take advantage of the initial amicable resolution avenues such as owning up, paying for power stolen, signing a bond of good behaviour that NEDCo provided to illegal connection suspects since they might serve as mitigating factors should the matter end up in court.

She emphasised that those avenues did not extinguish the offence committed but might help reduce the punishment prescribed for such crimes by law.

She advised members of the public to desist from all forms of illegal connections to escape the fate that befell Wahab Shiraz.

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