May 30, 2024

Court orders reinstatement of Eko Electricity management team

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Court orders reinstatement of Eko Electricity management team

The board crisis rocking the Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc (EKEDP) took a news twist last Thursday with Hon. Justice D . U Okorowo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ordering the reinstatement of the management team led by Dr. Tinuade Sanda, pending the determination of the suit seeking the interpretation of NERC’s Orders.

However, EKEDP Chairman, Dere Otubu remains adamant as our investigation revealed that Dr. Sanda is yet to resume office despite the latest court order.

The Chairman, Legal and Regulatory Compliance Board Committee of EKEDP, had via an Originating summons requested the Court to interpret NERC Directives, which the Chairman of EKEDP had based the recall of the Management team on.

It would be recalled that the Chairman of Eko Disco had unilaterally, ahead of a board meeting, released the MD/CEO alongside some senior staff of their duties in EKEDP and redeploy same to their parent company, WPG Limited, on the NERC Directive.

The NERC order which come on the heels of an attempt to resolve crisis in the board over allegations of ghost staff stated as follows: “EKEDC is hereby directed to ensure that all staff working for the utility are employed by the utility directly, bound by applicable service conditions that are applicable to the employees of the utility and paid through the utility’s payroll….”

But in what seems like a premeditated plot to maintain his plans, Otubu rather than recall the staff, gave the NERC order his own interpretation compelling NERC issued a directive clarifying its earlier misinterpreted Directive as follows:

“The Commission has noted the strong public interest generated by the current event at EKEDP and the various interpretations of the resolutions conveyed vide the said letter, particularly, with respect to paragraphs (4b) and 4(c). We therefore hereby provide further clarifications as follows_ :

“Paragraph 4b- All staff of EKEDP, irrespective of their form of engagement, will be subject to the Commission deemed it necessary to pass this resolution based on the submission of EKEDP, at the meeting of 20 March 2024, that the Condition of Service (“CoS”) of EKEDP as not applicable to Seconded personnel from third party providers_ .

“Paragraph 4c- EKEDP Board is expected to conclude its review of its investigation into the allegation of Ghost workers to identify all personnel involved on causing loss of revenues to EKEDP no later than 27th March 2024. In a case where the indicted parties are seconded from third party providers and **since they are reported NOT subject to the EKEDP CoS, they are to be recalled to their parent companies to avoid the risk of further losses to EKEDP.”

Despite the clarification, the Eko Disco Chairman refused to undo the recall but continued to carryout other acts on the deleted and clarified order.

Consequently, the matter was brought before the Federal High Court for interpretation, and pending the determination of the suit, the Management Staff have been ordered to return to their respective positions and roles as they were before the issuance of the Directives/Orders.

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