Contempt: Court commits two Onitsha EEDC top management staff to prison for 3 months

www.odogwublog.com reports that an Onitsha High Court in Anambra state, presided over by Justice Ike Ogu has ordered that the Onitsha District Manager and Marketing Manager of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC be committed to prison for three months for disconnecting electricity supply to the shops belonging to Iweka Road Electronics Traders Association, Onitsha, in defiance of the court order.


The committal order followed a committal proceeding (Form 49) brought before the court against them by counsel to the Iweka Road Electronics Dealers Association, Austin Enendu, asking the court to convict them for disobeying its earlier order which directed that EEDC should not disconnect their line until the disputed N2 million electricity bill which EEDC issued to the traders is determined by the court.


Leaders of the traders had dragged EEDC to the court for disconnecting their electricity supply after they gave them over N2 million bills which the traders claimed was not their bill and refused to pay.


Consequently, the traders headed to court and obtained an order restraining EEDC from disconnecting them, pending the determination of the substantive suit but in an apparent defiance of the court order, the defendants, through their workmen, went ahead and disconnected them for failing to pay the N2 million bill.
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In his ruling on Contempt proceedings, Justice Ike Ogu said the committal was without an option of fine, for disobeying the subsisting order of the court of competent jurisdiction by continued disconnecting electricity supply to the traders after the court had ordered them to maintain status quo.


The court noted that the defendant should have obeyed the court order pending the hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction which EEDC violated and hereby committed to the prison for three months until they purged themselves of the contempt.


According to the counsel to the traders, Mr. Enedu "The plaintiffs/applicants (Traders) sued the defendants/respondents (EEDC) upon the defendants/ respondents attempt to force the plaintiff/ applicants to pay disputed electricity bills.



After the oral submissions of both counsels, the court made an interim order of injunction wherein parties were asked to maintain status quo ante bellum.



According to Enundu, "Despite the pendency of the interim order, the defendants/respondents with the aid of their workmen disobeyed the order on the June 2016 by disconnecting the electricity supply to the plaintiff/applicants shops".


"The defendants/respondents contemptuous act of disconnecting the electricity energy supply of the plaintiffs/applicants shop is a disobedience of the court order and this honorable court has inherent jurisdiction to commit the defendants/respondents to prison for contempt of court which it did today and we are happy over it", Enedu further stated.



Contempt: Court commits two Onitsha EEDC top management staff to prison for 3 months Contempt: Court commits two Onitsha EEDC top management staff to prison for 3 months Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 Rating: 5

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