Sunday Joseph, a police officer was on Sunday electrocuted at a police barracks opposite the Ogun State Government House, Abeokuta, while trying to rescue a 17-year-old boy earlier trapped by a Power Holding Company high-tension cable.
The boy identified as Moses also died from electrocution in the incident which occurred at one of the road – expansion construction sites in the Isale Igbein area of the state. The boy’s corpse and that of the police officer had since been deposited at the morgue of the state Hospital, Ijaye.
According to eyewitnesses, the teenager was looking through rubbles being used by a construction company to fill a ditch when he stepped on a PHCN live cable.
“Moses, whose father was one of the police officers killed recently by armed robbers in Abeokuta, was about leaving the construction site when one of the iron rods he had salvaged from the rubble touched the high tension electricity cable and was electrocuted,” one of the witnesses said.
Joseph, who became Moses’ guardian since the death of his father rushed towards the body of the teenager whose body was still filled with electric current, as he arrived the scene after being contacted by people in the area.
The police officer, who drove to the construction site in a Volkswagen Golf car with number plate Lagos FB 359 APP, was oblivious of efforts to stop him as he went for Moses’ lifeless body, and was immediately trapped by the same live PHCN cable and left gasping for breath for a few seconds before he died.
An official of the Bureau of Electrical Engineering Services, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed that PHCN knew of the danger the high-tension posed in the area, but the line was not switched off because a top PHCN official was having a party in Abeokuta.
The official added that the refusal of the PHCN to switch off the high tension line serving the area also made it impossible for the technicians of the bureau to carry out their normal duty on Sunday.
Richard Oyewole, PHCN Public Affairs Manager in charge of Ijeun and Olumo Districts of Abeokuta, however denied negligence by the PHCN, but assured that an investigation would be launched into the incident.
“I have contacted some of our field officers, and like you are aware, yesterday was Sunday and normally if the Construction Companies are to work in any area, they will request outage but as we speak, yesterday being Sunday, there was no outage permit granted by our company.
“We are still making investigations and we are going to make announcement later on the issue,” Oyewole said.
In his reaction, Public Relations Officer of Ogun State Police department, Muyiwa Adejobi, described the incident as saddening.
“It is saddening. The commissioner of police commiserates with the affected families and we pray such an incident does not occur again.”