The Managing Director (MD) for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Samuel Dubik Mahama, says customers caught engaging in power theft will be forced to pay for what they have stolen and will be prosecuted in addition.
He was speaking concerning the alleged stealing of electricity by managers of the Hillburi hotel at Aburi in the Eastern Region.
According to officials of the ECG, the hotel has enjoyed electricity illegally for years until ECG engineers uncovered the unauthorised connection during a search on the premises of the hotel in the course of the week.
The perpetrators were arraigned on April 1.
Mr Mahama noted that while the ECG has presented the hotel with a bill to be paid, the prosecution will still go forward as planned.
He explained that this is to serve as a deterrence to others who are engaged in power theft.
“I strongly believe what is due the company should come back to the company, but the prosecution side of the matter must take its course. It’s a criminal offence, so if I prosecute you and it’s a criminal offence you’re going to jail,” he said on JoyNews’ PM Express.
“So I should sue and go to court today it will take how long to recoup the money with what interest? Are you saying that because that has happened and they want to give back we should forgive? Is that what you’re saying? Even if you pay we’ll still prosecute you.
“Why should we stop at the fact that you’ve paid? Because if you stop there the next thing they’ll say is ‘when I’m caught I’ll pay’ then when will it stop? So that means you’ll be saving for the day?” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mahama has announced a one month ultimatum for consumers who are engaged in power theft to right their wrongs.
According to him, at the end of the month-long grace period, consumers caught in the act will be made to face the full rigours of the law.