surrounding the family of Late Mr Kingsley Osuchukwu, a native of Nneato
community in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State, is a
untimely death, his wife, Joy Oluchi, a native of Umunze community in
Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State, was electrocuted by
uncoated electric cables that supply electricity to the streetlights,
allegedly left carelessly by officials of the Ebonyi State Ministry of
Power, after working at the site earlier in the day.
front of Udoka Hall along Water Works Road in Abakaliki. The spot was
just few steps away from her residence, No 27 Ukwansi Street, Abakaliki.
Tears of family members, neighbours and friends flowed like a river
when news of her sudden demise was broken.
learnt from co-tenants of the deceased that she had returned from her
church, Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Methodist Church, Abakaliki, where
she had participated in its Bible Study programme.
dropped her bible at her residence and headed to the tap in the
neighbourhood to fetch some water for her family. Without any
premonition of the impending danger, she picked up a 25 litre gallon and
headed to the tap. She went with her four-year-old only son, Victory.
It was on her way back home that the tragic incident happened.
a footpath which the residents of the area often use, perhaps, to avoid
the dangers obviously inherent on the major road. Incidentally, the
state government routed the cables for the streetlights through the same
problems. The residents of the area told Sunday Sun that they had been
pleading with the officials of the state’s Ministry of Power to fix the
problems and prevent tragic occurrences in the area. But all pleas and
prodding, according to them, where not heeded.
returning from the borehole, she mistakenly stepped on the naked cable
and was electrocuted to death instantly.
the incident told Sunday Sun that the officials of the state’s Ministry
of Power had worked on that particular streetlight cable earlier in the
day and abandoned the insulated cables.
them to cover it before leaving but they gave a flimsy excuse that they
would come back later and left.
passed through that area not knowing that there were uninsulated cables
there and she was electrocuted instantly,” one of the shop-owners, who
requested for anonymity, said.
after tapping her lifeless body without any response, then screamed in a
high decibel voice that attracted passersby to the scene. A man who was
said to have had attempted to pull her away received an electric shock
and was violently thrown off while the child was not harmed.
visited the family residence behind Udoka Hall, some of her Anambra
kinsmen living in Abakaliki and other mourners had besieged the house.
Chairman of Umunze Town Union, Ebonyi State chapter, Mr Uchenna Joseph
Obi, blamed the officials of the state’s Ministry of Power for the
officials of the Ministry of Power in charge of the streetlights came in
the afternoon of that same day and worked on the streetlights. They
abandoned those uninsulated cables and left.
now, you will still see those ‘naked’ wires there. They just left them
on the footpath where people pass often. We are very angry. This is
carelessness on the path of the government officials.
Chief David Umahi. We sent him a text message. We first contacted his
deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe and afterwards, sent a text message to the
the family. This is because the children are now orphans. Their father
died about four years ago. So, you can imagine the difficulty their
mother’s untimely death can pose to them. She has three children, two
girls and a boy.
four years when the incident happened. So it was the little child that
raised the alarm before people gathered. The first person that touched
her was shocked by the electric current. So, before they could use dry
stick to push her away, she had died. She was confirmed dead at the
hospital,” Obi narrated.
Chidimman Godgift, while corroborating others insisted that the
government officials should be held responsible for the fate of Oluchi.
(8) and Victory Osuchukwu (4) could not speak with our reporter as they
were not emotionally stable when Sunday Sun visited.
aesthetic value to the state capital, mounted streetlights and disco
lights in many streets in Abakaliki. However, many of these ground disco
lights have developed faults such that there are uninsulated cables
everywhere. It was one of such cables that killed the deceased.
Sunday Sun reporter visited other parts of Abakaliki, the state capital,
and saw that at the popular Udensi Street, the sort of electrical fault
identified by the people is rampant and pose danger to the residents
and users of the road. A girl of about 15 years, a food vendor, who
pleaded for anonymity recounted to how she missed death by the whiskers.
streetlight pole and it sparked. Another day, it was drawing me close to
itself like a magnet. And the ground was wet. It was God that saved
me,” she said.
Relations Officer of the state’s Ministry of Power and Energy, Egwu
Nwabueze, and made available to Sunday Sun, the ministry dismissed the allegation that its officials abandoned the uncoated cables that killed Mrs Oluchi Osuchukwu.
observed that the State Ministry of Power and Energy, contrary to the
insinuations did not work on the cable along the area within the period
in question as there was no reason to do so. Instead, the likes of these idle minds tried pulling out our cable which we buried a day after the incident.
the ministry, Chief Emma Uguru as saying that, “the state government
could not be held responsible for the incident which is one of a kind in
through the Ministry however commiserates with the family of the victim
of the alleged electrocution.”
the government on various social media platforms in respect of the
tragic incident as the handwork of “propagandists” who insinuated that
Governor Umahi’s administration engaged the services of cheap engineers
to execute the electrification project, the Egwu quoted the commissioner
as saying: “Electrocution is one of the disasters or accidents often
witnessed the world over. Electricity companies such as the defunct ECN,
NEPA, PHCN, and now EEDC had at various times recorded such incidents
which were not attributed to the government.”