Sokoto - Malam Sani Umar, the Special Assistant on Media to Gov. Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State, said that the report about the assault of a PHCN official by the governor was false.
Umar said this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sokoto on Thursday.
He described the report as "an attempt to discredit Wamakko's administration".
"The issue of the alleged beating is mischievous and an attempt to bring the government into public disrepute," he stressed.
Umar was reacting to a statement credited to the Sokoto/Zamfara State Council of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), alleging that the governor personally assaulted some PHCN officials who came to his house in Wamakko to inspect a faulty transformer.
The statement, jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the union, Abubakar Sani and Yusuf Abdulkarim, respectively, alleged that Wamakko assaulted four PHCN officials who came to inspect the faulty 2.5 MVA transformer.
Consequently, the union said that its members felt that they were no longer safe in the state, while its executive council resolved to withdraw its members from all PHCN formations.
They also resolved to ensure a total blackout in the state till further notice.
As a result, the PHCN had since disconnected electricity supply to some public institutions in the state.
The institutions that are affected by the disconnection include the Government House, Sokoto; the state Water Board; the state Specialist Hospital and Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto.
However, Umar said that the PHCN is "only looking for public sympathy".
"They collected N17 million from the state government and they failed to repair the transformer after removing it five times.
"The PHCN is on an economic sabotage mission in the state. The matter is being handled by the security agencies and the state Commissioner for Justice," he said.
Addressing a press conference in Sokoto on Thursday, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and some concerned youths condemned the PHCN action as "inhuman".
Malam Kasimu Nakura, the Secretary-General of NANS (Zone A), said that the action of the PHCN had threatened the lives of the people of the state.
He called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly to intervene in the matter and ensure the immediate restoration of electricity supply to the affected places.