A three-storeyed building on Alhaji Alli Lane, housing Ogba Magistrates’ Courts, Lagos State, has been disconnected by Ikeja Electric over N1.9m electricity bills.
City Round learnt that the debt piled up for months, making the distribution company to disconnect the facility on Tuesday.
Our correspondent who visited the court on Friday observed that workers opened office windows for ventilation as there was no electricity to power the air conditioners in the building.
An official who, confided in our reporter, said the court did not have a big generator to serve as an alternative source of power, describing the situation as embarrassing.
“It is really shameful,” he thundered. “It is embarrassing that an institution like court was disconnected on the account of not paying electricity bills. Something like this happened some months ago too. Is it that the Lagos State Government is broke?” the official wondered.
Our correspondent who walked round the court corridors observed that several offices were wide open with some workers using hand fans to douse heat.
It was also noted that there were skeletal proceedings which sources said might be as a result of the stuffy courtrooms.
“The court has been disconnected since Tuesday and I have no idea when it will be reconnected. I learnt they owe close to N2m. But I suspect the court management was not duly notified before the disconnection,” another official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
An Ikeja Electric official, who confirmed the disconnection to our correspondent, stated that it was the second time such would happen this year.
The official said, “What kind of notification do they need? Don’t they know they owe? More so, they have their own dedicated transformer with a meter. It is whatever we read from the meter that we use to bill them. They owe about N1.9m. They owed for the months of August and September and they quickly paid for September bill. That was after they were disconnected.
“They have not paid for October and November bills and we have to disconnect them again. They are not supposed to owe at all because they are maximal customers.”
The spokesperson for IE, Mr Felix Ofulue, also confirmed the debt to City Round, saying that, “they were disconnected because they owe us N1.9m.”