Benjamin Amaoko, a self-styled Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) official, has been sentenced to six months in hard labour by the Donkorkrom Magistrate Court for defrauding some of the company’s customers in Brubeng, near Donkorkrom.
When he appeared before the court presided over by Mr Augustine Akus-Am, the convict pleaded guilty to the charges.
Michael Aledzi, motorbike operator and alleged accomplice, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit crime and defrauding by false pretences and was remanded into police custody to reappear on March 15, 2022.
Prosecuting, Police Superintendent Samuel Entsua – Annan told the court that, on February 14, 2022, Amoako, the convict riding on the back of Aledzi’s motorcycle, went to the complainant’s house in Brubeng, near Donkorkrom in the Affram Plains North District, posing as an ECG official.
The prosecution said, the complainant, who was owing ECG, then issued 200 Ghana cedis to Amoako to settle the bill at the ECG office on his behalf and bring him a receipt later.
He said due to the payment Amoako was unable to disconnect the power supply.
Mr Entsua-Annan said the convict later resurfaced in Brubeng with an electricity bill without a proper payment receipt, prompting a verbal exchange between the complainant and the convict.
The Prosecution said the complainant became suspicious of the attitude of the convict and called the Assembly member in the area who consequently informed the Police to arrest Amoako.
He said Aledzi, his alleged accomplice, managed to flee the scene.
Superintendent Entsua-Annan said after investigations the convict was arraigned and remanded into police custody, while a bench warrant was issued for Aledzi’s arrest. When Aledzi was apprehended on February 28, 2022, the two were brought before the court for prosecution.
According to information gathered from the district, Amoako is on record as posing as ECG official in order to dupe unsuspecting customers of the company.
This prompted District ECG officials to conduct a surveillance of his activities until his arrest.
However, Mr Emmanuel Halm, the Electricity Company of Ghana’s (ECG) Eastern Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO), in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, advised the public to refrain from making payments to power disconnectors and meter readers who visit their homes for special exercises, stating that such people are not authorized to collect cash on behalf of the company.
“If we deploy disconnectors to customers’ premises, it is their duty to disconnect the defaulting customers, and not to collect money from them,” he said. “The customer would then have to pay a reconnection fee to the company, before power is restored to their premises.”
He said, “In a case that ECG is undertaking a special exercise, we make announcement and our disconnectors would visit the communities with bonded cashiers, who are mandated to receive money on our behalf. They will issue receipts to customers as evidence of payment, anytime they receive your money,”
“Customers should therefore take note that if you make any payment to ECG, you have to demand an instant official receipt. Without that, be sure that the money you are giving to that person cannot be accounted for.”
As a result, the PRO urged customers to pay only to ECG-accredited cashiers at the various offices or those assigned to teams that typically visit their communities for special revenue mobilization exercises.