By Peter Okolie
A middle-aged man identified as Nduka Emeziagbala, died on Friday, at Enugwu-Agidi community in Anambra in circumstances suspected to be electrocution.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered on Saturday that the incident occurred while the victim was up on a breadfruit tree, which he was hired to cut its branches under electricity high tension cable in the community.
The deceased was believed to have had contact with something bearing electricity current while on the three trying to shed the branches, and got electrocuted.
He was said to have fallen off the tree and died in a condition depicting electrocution.
An eyewitness said that the deceased from Iruobieri village, was given the job following the warning by Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) on the dangers of the tree.
The company had said that it was necessary to cut down the tree to ensure free flow of electricity current on the wires.
“In the process, the young man was hired to cut down branches of the tree because of the repeated warning from officers of the EEDC,” the source said.
Another source, who said that the incident had thrown the entire community in Njikoka Local Government Area into morning, described the deceased as “a quiet young man, who cared for his mother more than his siblings’’.
In his reaction, President-General of Enugwu-Agidi Brotherly Union (EBU), Mr Chidi Okoye, described the incident as regrettable, but blamed it on carelessness of the deceased.
Okoye said the leadership of the union had earlier engaged some villagers on the need to allow EEDC to cut down the tree due to the inherent dangers it posed.
“It is unfortunate that the young man died in that manner. We expected that there would have been a proper communication with the EEDC before cutting down the tree.
“He just lost his life out of sheer carelessness. The sad incident is a lesson to everybody in the community,” he said.
Okoye, however, cautioned youths in the area not to take laws into their hands, advising that there was no need for civil unrest in the community as a result of the incident.
He disclosed that the deceased’s body had been deposited in a mortuary in the community.
Contacted, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Mr Haruna Mohammed, told NAN that the case was not reported to the police.
Mohammed, however, said that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the area notified him that the deceased did not die of electrocution.
“Investigation revealed that the deceased fell from Ukwa (breadfruit) tree and became unconscious.
“He was taken to a hospital where he later died.
“But, the matter was not officially reported to the police,” he said.