Coalition for Affordable and Regular Electricity (CARE) has condemned the arrest of some activists and community leaders by the Lagos State police command.
The group in a statement made available to us Wednesday evening called for immediate and unconditional release of the 10 detained protesters.
we recalls that some residents, who were protesting outrageous electricity bills by Eko Electricity Distribution Company, were arrested by the policemen from Tolu Police station in Lagos State on Wednesday.
Public Relations Officer of Lagos state police command, Benjamin Hundeyin confirmed the arrest.
Hundeyin, in a reply to enquiry said that the protesters were arrested for attacking electricity workers and disturbance of public peace.
He said, “They were not arrested for protesting. They were arrested for attacking electricity workers and disturbing public peace. They will be prosecuted in accordance with the law”.
CARE has, however, called for the immediate release of the protesters.
The group alleged that the management of the distribution company was behind the arrest of the protesters.
CARE in the statement signed by Chinedu Bosah (National Coordinator) and Shoyombo Monsuru (National Secretary), demanded an end to police arrest, detention and attacks on innocent community people and activists.
It said, “The Eko Electricity Distribution Company just like the other private electricity companies is notorious for issuing unjustified and outrageous electricity bills to amass huge profits.
“Since November 2013 when the power sector was privatized, communities have been plunged into darkness, while tariff has gone up steadily. The power companies have also refused to issue prepaid meters to residents in order to issue fraudulent estimated bills.
“We demand an end to police arrest, detention, and attacks on innocent community people and activists. Coalition for Affordable and Regular Electricity (CARE) demands the immediate and unconditional release of the 10 detained Ajegunle protesters.
“Family members and members of different organizations have visited the Tolu Divisional Police Station but the Divisional Police Officer, CSP Etuk Akanyene refused to release the peaceful protesters.
“Apparently, the order from the Eko Distribution Company is to brutalize and detain the protesters and eventually charge them to court on trumped-up charges. We appeal for protest calls and messages to be sent to CSP Etuk Akanyene 08034448617 with a call to release all the protesters”.