Mrs. Funke Osibodu, Managing Director of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) Plc, has alleged threat to her life, by Henry Ajagbawa, whom she claimed is illegally attempting to take over control of BEDC operations.
Osibodu made this known in Benin on Tuesday, revealing that she was forcefully arrested in her office at the company’s head office in Benin City, Edo State and then taken to the State Police Command headquarters.
Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) had on Wednesday, July, 13 2022, made effort to take over the asset of BEDC Electricity Plc, despite the injunction order obtained by Vigeo power from the Federal High Court, Abuja in July 8, 2022 over a suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1113/2022 between Vigeo Power Limited vs. Fidelity Bank Plc.
Meanwhile, the BEDC boss insisted that a valid court order dated July, 8 2022, had restrained Fidelity Bank, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), and Bureau of Public Enterprise(BPE) from taking over BEDC management.
Osibodu said, “On Monday, some persons came here with guns and said they were police from Abuja. They (police) forced themselves into the compound, arrested the security men here and broke into my office.
“The police asked me to follow them to the police headquarters. I followed them.
“When I got to the station, they told me there’s a petition against me, indicating that I was trespassing in BEDC, in addition to threat to life.
“They took my statement and I showed them the court documents.
“Somebody marched into the building to say I have been asked to takeover. If there’s a threat to life. It’s to my life,” she said.
Commenting further, Mrs. Osibodu said the company recorded a N750 million loss in revenue collection within one month after the “forceful takeover of the company”.
According to her, “During the period when we were away for one month [takeover], this company lost N750 million. The collection level went down. And if you don’t pay the people selling power, we will not get enough power because we are just distributors.”
The controversial take-over was part of the activation of the call on the collateralised shares of some DisCos including BEDC Electricity by Fidelity Bank over alleged inability to repay loans obtained to acquire majority stakes in the DisCos in 2013.
However, the Osibodu and her team had insisted that “Vigeo Holdings Limited (VHL – a non-shareholder of BEDC) obtained credit facilities from Stanbic IBTC Bank Limited, Fidelity Bank Plc, and Keystone Bank Plc.
She said, “It is the core investor, Vigeo power that has 60 percent share in BEDC”.
The embattled claimed that the BPE is using Fidelity Bank Plc as a front, to take over BEDC that is not indebted to either both parties using the naked force of state power.
She noted that BEDC was never collaterised in any loan transaction with Fidelity Bank Plc or any other financial institution.
EnergyDay gathered that the BPE had earlier announced the appointed of K. C. Aguma, Adeola Ijose, Henry Ajaghawa, Charles Onwera and Yomi Adeyemi as directors of BEDC to take over the management and control of the affairs, assets and undertakings of the BEDC.