HomecrimeTamale: Man jailed over illegal power connection

Tamale: Man jailed over illegal power connection

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The Tamale District Court 1 has sent a strong statement against the increasing issue of illegal power connections by sentencing Wahab Shiraz to six months in jail in hard labour without the option of a fine.

The court, presided over by His Worship Justice Derrick Annan, also imposed a fine of 500 penalty units, amounting to GHS 6,000, to be paid to the state.

In a comprehensive ruling, the court ordered Shiraz to pay an additional GH¢10,096.55 to the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), representing the estimated value of the electricity he had stolen.

The court stipulated that failure to pay the GH¢6,000 fine would result in an additional seven months of imprisonment, bringing the total possible jail term to 13 months.

Shiraz, a resident of Bulpella, a suburb of Tamale, pleaded guilty to the charge of “interference with electricity distribution system” under Rule 41(2A) and 1(6) of the Electricity Supply and Distribution Rules 2005 (L.I. 1816).

His illegal activities were uncovered in December 2023 during Phase 3 of NEDCo’s Mass Revenue Mobilization Exercise, aimed at curbing illegal connections in Tamale.

Despite being issued an illegal connection notice and instructed to report for investigation, Shiraz failed to comply, prompting NEDCo to seek legal recourse. The matter was reported to the Tamale police, eventually leading to the court proceedings and subsequent conviction.

Following the sentencing, NEDCo’s legal representative, Ms Esther Yirbom, urged the public to avoid illegal power connections and take advantage of NEDCo’s resolution options.

She emphasised that suspects who own up and cooperate with NEDCo’s procedure, such as paying for the stolen power and signing a bond of good behaviour could potentially see reduced penalties if their cases go to court.

Ms Yirbom warned that while these measures do not absolve the offence, they could mitigate the severity of the punishment.

She advised against engaging in illegal power connections to avoid severe consequences similar to those faced by Shiraz.

This case highlights the ongoing efforts by NEDCo and the judicial system to combat illegal power connections and uphold the integrity of electricity distribution in Tamale.

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