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Dealers kick as Kaduna LG seals alcohol outlets

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Sabon Gari Council in Kaduna State has sealed up alcohol outlets in the area, as part of the ban on the sale and consumption of spirits in the communities.

The decision was reportedly based on the magistrate court’s ruling of Friday, July 17, 2020.

The council issued a by-law to businessmen to stop the sale and consumption of alcohol within the area, which attracted serious condemnation from the dealers in Sabon Gari.

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However, the dealers have appealed to the council to stop the action, describing it as “discrimination and victimisation.”

They cautioned that such action might affect some Northerners conducting legitimate businesses in other parts of the country.

A member of Hoteliers and Beer Parlour Proprietors Association (HBPPA), who pleaded anonymity, said: “We believe that the business we conduct is legitimate and does not contravene the laws of the land. We also pay tax to the government from our businesses.

“It is worthy of note they we don’t produce the liquor/spirit, but we buy from the brewery, which is one of the country’s sources of revenue.”

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According to him, the law is a technical knock-out for dealers of liquor and spirit in Sabon Gari.

He argued that “the by-law is trying to disintegrate what the nation’s forefathers fought for many years ago before the Independence of 1960.”

Speaking to journalists yesterday, counsel to the council, Shanwil Nasiru, said the law did not stop the sale and consumption of alcohol regulations.

Nasiru explained that the liquor association took the council to court because of the issue of licence renewal and that the council was willing to issue the licence if they comply with the necessary conditions before obtaining the licence.

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But counsel to the association, Solomon Karne, said: “For what we know as citizens, the sale and consumption of alcohol in Nigeria is not a religious affair; but the culture and tradition of some certain people.

“Most people believe that the sale and consumption of alcohol in Nigeria is carried out by Christians, which is not correct.”

In October last year, there was tension in Zaria over plans to outlaw sale and consumption of alcohol, when a proposed bill to be enacted into law was considered by the council.

The council sent letters dated October 21, 2019, inviting hotel owners and liquor sellers to the hearing of the proposed bill.

During the public hearing, which held at the council’s chamber, the hotel owners and liquor sellers, represented by their lawyer, Daniel Peter, said that councils in Nigeria only had the powers to licence, regulate and control the sale of liquor, arguing that they lack the power to prohibit the sale.

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