Perm Sec, Directors Allegedly ‘Steal’ Transformer in Benue

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The Benue State Police Command has arrested a permanent secretary and two directors of a ministry in the state over a missing transformer belonging to the Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JED) in Makurdi, the state capital.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Catherine Anene, confirmed the arrest on Thursday, stating that the suspects were brought to the command on Tuesday.

The Head of Corporate Communications of JED, Adakole Elijah, in an interview with Daily Trust, said that a permanent secretary of a ministry in the state and two directors are in police custody. Elijah mentioned that one of the government officials admitted to taking the transformer after the ministry launched an investigation.

Elijah explained, “What actually happened was that one of our transformers was missing, and we discovered it missing on July 6, 2024. We launched an investigation into the matter and discovered that the transformer was removed by people in daylight. They even went with hardware and did sand filling to enter and pick the transformer. A security man confirmed that he assisted them in removing the transformer.”

He continued, “We commenced the investigation and eventually one of the government officials was arrested and confirmed that he took the transformer and that it is in his house. When the issue became serious, he tried to make it a state government matter to cover it up and push it to the Ministry of Cooperation and Rural Development.”

Elijah added, “The transformer was removed from the industrial area of Makurdi. The police, along with our men, went with a crane to recover the transformer from the ministry back to the police station, but the directors at the ministry resisted. The regional manager had to involve the commissioner. When the commissioner arrived, she refused to allow them to carry the transformer, even locking the gate to prevent entry. We then contacted the Commissioner of Police who mobilized reinforcements to retrieve the transformer. It is now back at the police headquarters.”

The suspects, including the permanent secretary and two directors, remain in police custody.


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