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Customer files N50 million lawsuit against AEDC for billing errors

A customer has filed a lawsuit seeking N50 million in general damages over alleged erroneous billing practices from Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).

The customer, Ugochukwu Orakwue, a resident of Kogi, filed the lawsuit, in an originating summon submitted to Justice Nicodemus Auwalu of High Court II in Lokoja, Orakwue contended that the AEDC deliberately and inaccurately billed him for electricity, refusing to read his Postpaid Meter and instead relying on inflated estimated bills.

The plaintiff petitioned the court to issue an order restraining the AEDC from continuing to issue him electricity bills based on estimation, insisting that the bills should reflect the actual reading of his postpaid meter.

Furthermore, Orakwue sought a declaration that the AEDC’s practice of issuing bills based on estimation rather than meter readings violated the regulations set forth by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), deeming such actions illegal, null, and void.

The lawsuit
An excerpt of the lawsuit reads.

“A declaration that all the electricity bills issued to the claimant by the AEDC based on estimation starting from the bill of 19” Oct. 19, 2015, being exercise or action founded on illegality are null, void and of no legal effect or consequence.

“A declaration that AEDC’s action of concealing the information of the claimant’s status as a metered customer by the wilful refusal to insert his meter number in his electricity bills contravenes the NERC’s regulation and therefore illegal, null and void.

“A declaration that the defendant’s act of disconnecting the claimant’s electricity supply for nonpayment in less than ten (10) days of the bill date, without issuing a disconnection notice to the claimant’s even when the complaint filed by him against the bills remains unresolved and contravened the NERC’s regulations and therefore illegal, null and void.

“A declaration that the claimant is entitled to be refunded the sum of N25,000 and Three Thousand Naria (N3,000) reconnection fee coercively collected from him by the defendant on July 28, 2023, before the reconnection of his electricity supply illegally or unlawfully disconnected by the defendant.”

During the recent court hearing, the AEDC’s counsel, Mr. G.D. Dubai, informed the court that discussions had commenced with the claimant to explore an out-of-court settlement.

Dubai conveyed that most of the issues raised had been forwarded to the management at the AEDC’s headquarters in Abuja for consideration.

The court, acknowledging the ongoing discussions, adjourned the case to February 22 for a report on the progress of the settlement or potential continuation of the hearing.

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