Liberia Electricity Corporation Jailed Employee For Alleged Power Theft
Monrovia – Victor Yowo, an ordinary security personnel of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), has spent two nights behind bars at the Monrovia Central Prison, commonly known as South Beach for alleged power theft.
Yowo was incarcerated at the Monrovia Central Prison on Wednesday by Monrovia City Court Judge Jomah Jallah for his alleged involvement in power theft.
Yowo, who served as a security personnel at the LEC was arrested by court officers on Wednesday on a writ of arrest based on a complaint filed to the court by the management of LEC.
According to the writ of arrest, defendant Yowo has allegedly been stealing several electrical materials belonging to the LEC and using same for power theft in the Pico Island Community in Congo Town, where he lives.
The writ of arrest also added that defendant Yowo has been purporting in the community (Pico Island Community) to be an electrician of the LEC to illegally sell stealing current to community dwellers.
“During the period of October 2020, in the area of Pico Island, the within named defendant being there and then in violation of section 15.88 of the Penal Law, unlawfully is in possession of several electrical materials/items belonging to the Liberia Electricity Corporation, which said items or electrical materials include: 25 meters, 4 electrical coil cables, transformers, breakers, Street light bulbs, Connectors, light poles climbers, safety belts among others purposely used by the said defendant to conduct illegal connection in the name of being LEC worker, and out of deception exhorting money from people and converting same to his personal use and benefit with the intent to deprive the LEC and the Government of Liberia,” the writ added.
However, defendant Yowo arrest grew out of a writ of search and seizure issued out of the Monrovia City Court on the complaint of the LEC.
According to information gathered by this paper, the writ of search and seizure was issued on defendant Yowo following a tip off from community dwellers that he has been allegedly stealing the company’s (LEC) electrical materials and using same for power theft in the community.
According to the unconfirmed information, defendant Yowo on several occasions has been suspected of the act prior to the tip off to the LEC.
However, prior to his incarceration, defendant Yowo declined to speak to judicial reporters who had engaged him to response to the allegation while on prisoner’s bench.
However, power theft in Liberia is a common practice among community members who feel frustrated over the bureaucracy involved in getting electricity from the state corporation.
Power theft continues to deprived the government of Liberia of its much needed revenue.
Based on this, in August 2019, the Liberian Senate in its 57th day sitting passed President George Weah Power Theft Bill.
The bill, which seeks to criminalize power theft as felonious crime was signed and published into handbill to reduce the rampant stealing of current.
The bill was an amendment to chapter 15 of the Penal Law of Liberia, by adding thereto section 15.88 to provide for power theft as a serious crime.