By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
From now on, anyone caught selling alcoholic beverages or operating a brewery business in the Sabo Gari local government area of Kaduna without a license will be penalized.
The Kaduna State Sabon Gari Local Government Council insisted that the council’s decision to ban the sale of beer and other fermented beverages by unlicensed operators in the area was irreversible.
On June 10, 2020, the Council had enacted laws sanctioning all Beer Centers not licensed to operate in the area.
According to the LG, the recent legal action by some operators and the Christian Association of the Kaduna State of Nigeria, CAN, will not have any significant impact to force the council to reverse its decision.
Alhaji Mohammed Usman, Chairman of the Council, told reporters that the statutes were incompatible with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the laws of the state of Kaduna regulating the storage, distribution, marketing and sale of liquors and spirits promulgated on May 29. 2019 section 5 and 8
According to him, the enacted ordinance was deliberately misinterpreted by some Nigerians and organizations in order to create confusion.
“The storage, distribution, marketing and sale of liquor and brandy will be carried out under a license issued by the competent authority in compliance with the condition of the license.”
“Overt sells or displays liquor and / or spirits in a place other than a licensed facility or other place approved by law, commits a crime and will be sentenced to prison for a period of not less than (3) years or a fine of no less than two hundred and fifty thousand Naira only (250,000), ” the law cited.
He said the recent legal action by some operators and the Nigerian CAN Kaduna State Christian Association will not have any significant impact to force the council to reverse its decision. “
Usman said that the Council derived the powers to draft statutes on this matter from section 11 of the same law which clearly states that
“The competent licensing authority may issue Regulations on the issuance of licenses under this law, including the prescription of conditions attached to licenses and, in general, in order to give effect to the provisions of this law”
“We have consulted all religious groups including CAN and they appeared at the public hearing before promulgating the law. We have also asked them to register with us and they refused, so why feign ignorance? “
“It appears that all the liquor sellers in Sabon Gari were not licensed to sell or store beer as provided by law.”
The president said that the council will not succumb to any threat or pressure from a few groups to the compromised law of the territory and therefore called on residents to abide by the law.
Reacting to the demolition of some breweries, Usman said that “the demolition was carried out by the Kaduna State Urban Development Authority KASUPDA, who has that mandate, not our Council.”
He expressed his disgust at the way and the manner in which the Council’s action was always misinterpreted as being religious, tribal and ethnic inclined.
“Of course, the local government of Sabon Gari is the third most cosmopolitan area in Kaduna state, but it is not enough to allow all business to be conducted without an order.”
He said that the Council had already informed Governor Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufai on the issue and supported the position and the application of the law.
According to him, democracy was meant to serve the majority and most of the people in Sabon Gari were happy with the law.