By Okereke Wilson Ogbonnaya
A 35-year-old man and a father of 2 children believed to be an indigene of Kochicha in Benue State, Mr. Tortya Peter, on Tuesday morning 21st April, 2020 was said to have died of electrocution along Abakaliki/Enugu Express Way.
Narrating the incident, an eye witness, Mr. Chibuzor Oduma said that the victim was hired by a telecommunication company to dig straight hole where optical fibre would be laid as replacement of some communication cables which were damaged in Abakaliki town during some construction works but, in the process, he was electrocuted by a high-tension wire.
Mr. Oduma said that on the fateful day, while Mr. Peter was working, he encountered obstacle with an ornamental tree along the Express Way, he enthusiastically grabbed a cutlass and climbed the tree to cut down some of its branches not knowing that the tree is entangled with the electricity wire.
According to Mr. Oduma, as soon as the man struck the matchet to cut down the branch, he fell off and landed motionlessly on the ground. Instantly, he was rushed by some sympathizers, upon touching his body, they discovered he was lying lifeless.
He further disclosed that Mr. Peter was hurriedly taken to Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA II) with tricycle where he was confirmed dead on arrival by a medical doctor. His corpse was deposited in the morgue.
“I was at my shop during the incident, even while the man was climbing the tree, I saw him clearly but nobody knew that his service will end up in that manner
“After he had ascended, suddenly he fell down and in order to assist him, I was among the first set of sympathizers who rushed there only to find out that he had died and blood was gushing out of his ears.”
“Through some discoveries made by some persons, fact was established that Mr. Peter became shocked in his attempt to remove a branch of the tree which fell on the live wire” he narrated.
The communication manager, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), Enugu Zone simply identified as Mr. Emeka when contacted on phone frowned at the incident and condemned attitude of some persons over alleged defiance towards the company’s directive.
He said that members of the public had been warned severally to always notify his staff whenever their projects have connection with live wire, so that power could be put off in the area.
The Police spokesperson, Ebonyi State Command, Mrs. Loveth Odah told our reporter that she was informed about the incident by a sympathizer but before she could get to the scene, the man’s lifeless body had been evaluated.
She said, “I am yet to get an official report from the Police Division in charge of the area.”
Our effort to hear from a certain Mr. Shok, the contractor who allegedly engaged late Peter’s service was not productive as he declined comment over the incident at the time of filing this report but some rolls of the communication cable were still found at the site.