Perm Sec, Directors Allegedly ‘Steal’ Transformer In Benue

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.

Naija News learnt that the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Catherine Anene, confirmed the arrest on Thursday, saying 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 a permanent secretary of a ministry in the state and two directors are in police custody.

Elijah said one of the government officials admitted to taking the transformer after the ministry launched an investigation.

He maintained that the suspects ought to have been arraigned on Wednesday but the government had shown interest in the matter because a permanent secretary and two directors were involved.

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Elijah said, “What actually happened was that, one of our transformers was missing, and we discovered it missing on July 6, 2024. We launched investigation into the matter and we discovered that the transformer was removed by people in a daylight.

“They even went with hardwares and even did sand filling for them to enter and picked the transformer. So, along the line, one security man confirmed that, yes, he was the one that assisted them to remove the transformer.

“So that was how we commenced investigation and eventually one of the government officials was arrested and confirmed that yes, he took the transformer, that the transformer is in his house.

“When the issue became serious as we were pushing, he too was pushing so that it would become a state government matter so that they would cover the whole thing and push it to the Ministry of Cooperation and Rural Development.

“The transformer was removed from industrial area of Makurdi. So, along the line the police (IPO) that was carrying out the investigation with one other police officer, went with a crane with our men to pick or recover the transformer from the ministry back to the police station where the case is being handled, but the directors at the ministry resisted.

“I advised the regional manager to try and see the commissioner. When the commissioner came, she said no, that she would not allow them to carry the transformer. Instead, they even locked the gate and didn’t allow anybody to come in. So we have to reach out to the Commissioner of Police who mobilised and sent reinforcement to go and bring the transformer. They have recovered the transformer back to the police headquarters.

“So, the persons arrested were the permanent secretary of the ministry and two directors. They are still at the police custody.”

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