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Relatives Accuse BEDC Of Negligence, Seek Justice For Electrocuted Staff

RELATIVES of the electrocuted Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) Staff, who was carrying out repairs on faulty poles and cables at the University of Benin, Ekewuan Campus, are accusing the company of negligence.

The victim, identified as Frank Aigbe Dickson, reportedly died after an 11kv high-tension cable snuffed life out of him while on official duty.

The relatives are demanding that the identity of the BEDC staff that switched on the high-tension cable while he was fixing the faulty part of the cable, be revealed to face justice for what they alleged as a calculated murder.

Recall that pandemonium erupted at the premises of the Ekehuan campus of the University of Benin on Thursday, over a video that went viral where Frank was stuck and electrocuted while trying to fix a fault on an 11kv high-tension cable.

The deceased was seen at the top end of an electrical pole cleaning the insertion’s gate, evidently trying to fix a power problem in the axis when he was caught up by a high-tension voltage that got him burnt and rushed to the hospital where he later died.

It was also learned that the electricity was not switched off from the central switch before he embarked on repairing it.

Speaking with our correspondent, a relative, Susan Asemota and Kenneth Ogbede averred that Frank’s death shouldn’t have happened if BEDC had done the obvious.

They claimed that Frank, who just celebrated his first marital anniversary with his now-widowed wife, was deliberately murdered.

The duo questioned the rationale behind the despatch staff who was on duty when the high tension was reportedly switched on and called for the identification of the despatched staff to be arrested and tried for murder.

Wilfred Ikuvbogie, a former BEDC staff who also corroborated the family’s claims, said Frank was attached and working on an 11KV Evbuotubu dedicated line connected to the University of Benin and engaged on the black Thursday, to fix the faulty poles and cables.

He is accusing the staff, who was said to be on duty to operate the despatch switch where the lines are either switched off or turned on before major operations or repairs are carried out, of deliberate negligence resulting in the death of Frank.

Ikuvbogie, who is challenging the management of BEDC to step up its investigation mechanisms as measures to address the issue, said he has reported the incident to the Evbuotubu Divisional Police Station.

According to some members of his family, Frank reportedly came back in the morning before his death after completing a night shift in the office.

The family source said several of such electrocution incidents happened to the now-deceased Frank a week before his untimely death but narrowly cheated death and could not survive the Thursdays that claimed his life.

Responding to the incident, top management staff of BEDC, led by its Human Capital Development Officer, who simply gave his name as Obinna, pledged to carry out a detailed analysis on the incident to ascertain the next line of action when they paid a condolence visit to the family at Etete, GRA Benin City.

Obinna and others in the entourage described Frank as a committed staff who will always deliver when called to duty and could not be easily overlooked.

However, no statement has been issued by the University of Benin authority over his death, but Benedicta Ehanire, the public relations officer of the institution, was said to have denied having knowledge of the incident when various media sources reached out to her for comments.

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