ECG, Judicial Service to set up utility courts to prosecute power theft cases
The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is working with the Judicial Service of Ghana to introduce more specialised utility courts in order to expedite action on the prosecution of power theft cases in the country.
A Deputy Managing Director of the company, Kojo Ayensu Obeng, who revealed this in Accra yesterday said, under the upcoming arrangement, such courts would be introduced in the regions with specific days of sitting.
At the 18th Certification Awards Ceremony 2023 of the Electrical Wiring Programme of the Energy Commission, he said all cases of meter tampering, meter by-passes and direct connections would be treated as theft cases.
A total of 678 practitioners and inspectors who had undergone training graduated under the initiative introduced 10 years ago to produce professional electricians and reduce the spate of fire outbreaks due to faulty wiring.
On the category of people liable for prosecution, Mr Obeng said, they included home/business owners, including professionals who are found to have undertaken illegal connections and power thefts.
“ If you are lucky your Certified Electrical Wiring Professional (CEWP) certification may be suspended or withdrawn entirely in addition to a fine or sentence as may be determined by the court,” he said.
Mr Obeng noted the recent revenue mobilisation drive by the ECG uncovered many illegal connections in both residential and commercial facilities, fueling allegations that home and facility owners connive with wiring practitioners.
Noting how easy it would be to arrest ECG staff involved in such illegalities, he appealed to those in the private sector and facility/ home owners to desist from the illegal connection.
“If you have connived with any home/business owner to do a bypass or tapped power illegally in the past, please take the opportunity of this special appeal and contact ECG for it to be corrected. It is better if you report it to us first rather than for ECG to discover it,” he said, promising confidentiality.
MrObeng said informant would be given six per cent of the cash equivalent of the energy that will be recovered from the culprit based on the information provided.
He advised the newly certified professionals to sharpen their skills, uphold integrity by avoiding shortcuts for excessive profits as well as avoid negative practices.
The Board Chairman of ECG, Dr Nicholas Smart-Yeboah, urged the Energy Commission to implement its laws as there are too many laws in the country which were only good on paper.
He also charged the Commission to monitor the people they were training to ensure they were doing the right things, and advised the trainees to make a difference in their chosen field.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Oscar Amonoo-Neizer said since the introduction of the Electrical Wiring Programme 10 years ago, 14,000 electrical wiring professionals and inspectors have been trained.
He said the Commission would through the programme ensure that only well trained professionals would be engaged to save life and property.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR