Court Awards N6.3m Against EEDC For Illegally Disconnecting An Owerri-based Legal Practitioner

Court Awards N6.3m Against EEDC For Illegally Disconnecting An Owerri-based Legal Practitioner

An Owerri High Court sitting in Owerri, Imo State has entered judgement against the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), ordering it to pay the sum of N6.3 million in damages in favour of the Plaintiff, an Owerri-based Legal Practitioner, Barr. Jonathan C. Uwandu for Illegal disconnection.

In a landmark judgement in a suit number: HOW/267/2019, the presiding judge, Hon. Justice K.A. Leweanya declared that the disconnection of the source of electricity of the Plaintiff at No. 48 Amaigbo Street, Owerri, Imo State by the defendants on 19th December, 2019 when the plaintiff had paid and displayed the receipt is unlawful and a breach of duty owed the plaintiff by the defendants.

The judge also frowned at the action of the defendants who usually disconnect the plaintiff’s power source without notice to the plaintiff, even when the plaintiff had paid his required bills.

According to the ruling, the defendants owed a duty to the plaintiff to supply electricity to him and/or not to tamper with his source of electricity in the property but have consistently failed in that duty.

The judge further ruled that the question whether the plaintiff had sufficient interest in the subject matter of the suit cannot be determined in vacuo but in the context of the fact and circumstances of the case, adding that in the instant case, it was clear from the facts as presented by parties that the plaintiff had locus standi to sue.

Accordingly, it is now law, that an action in tort for negligence can arise dehors contract of the party, thus where a person is injured from a transaction arising from the contract of two persons, the third party is not precluded from bringing an action on the grounds that he was not a party to the contract, the mis-performance or non performance of which has resulted in the damages to him.

The judge further held that the distribution company may only disconnect supply to a customer’s address when the customer has not paid the amount correctly billed for that supply address by the relevant payment date.

Finally, the judge declared that the sum of N170,000 would be paid to the plaintiff as special damages; N6,000,000 general damages for breach of duty owed the plaintiff should be paid by the defendants; and the defendants shall also pay cost fixed at N100,000 in favour of the plaintiff

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