By Achadu Gabriel
Five months later, the situation remained unchanged in Sabon Gari local government area of kaduna state, following the controversies surrounding series attempt to banned or sealed up over 300 premises from sales and consumption of beers, liquors and other alcoholic drinks in the entire area.
The banned attempts incident which occurred around June/July 2020, was attributed to the State Government initiative and support, according to news report quoting Sabon Gari council chairman, Engr. Muhammed .Usman.
But representative of the proprietor, Association of Liquor and Spirit Sabon Gari, Mr T. Thaddeus told journalists that all of a sudden, the council chairman deliberately refused to allowed dealers to renewed their license to operates in Zaria.
He said ” the chairman deliberately refused to give us license that anybody who said hi or she has license must be lying. And that in the night of the day of 16th July, when he (chairman) did that thing, I had his voice on 10am radio Nagarta Hausa news program (Anchei Kachei), that our active Governor (Maigirma) who has made it possible for them to do that suit their area and that he has done it in their erea.
Earlier, in a bide to ban the sale and consumption of all sort of alcohol, Sabon Gari Local Government area of Zaria in kaduna state had sealed up over 300 beer parlour, liquor and spirit across the local government.
Chairman dealers of liquor and spirit association Sabon Gari, Mr Ezenobi Godwin, in an interview with newsmen, said some of their business premises including 40 shops located at “kasuan dole” had been demolished.
The chairman represented by Mr Thaddeus S, said the exercise which commenced since Saturday 18th July 2020, was based on order obtained from magistrate Court under Chief magistrate Zainab Garba Muhammed.
Mr. Godwin said that while they were waiting for approval of the local government to renew their license, the council chairman Engr. Muhammed. Usman invited them for a meeting.
Dealers of liquor chairman lamented that during the meeting, his members were lebelled as operating illegal business pemises without license and directed them to closedown all their joints themselves until a new license are obtained, without prior notice.
According to Mr Godwin, their association quickly rushed to High court and obtained injunction restraining the council from implementing the chairman closure order, which efforts to pleased them was rejected.
The association expressed dismay that while the high court was yet to deliver the judgement, the council went and obtained an order from magistrate Court based on Bye-Law of Sabon Gari Local Government 2020, to sealed up all their business premises on beginning from Saturday 18th July 2020, till August 2020, when the case will come up for hearing.
The body also stated that the council issued a bye-law to liquor and spirit dealers to stop the sale and consumption of alcohol within the area, which attracted serious condemnation from dealers of liquor and spirit in Sabon Gari Local Government area.
The condition attached to the new application form for obtaining the license, made available to journalists by the association provided that the Ward, village head must recommend any applicant to qualified, while the district head name, stamp and signature must be endorsed.
pplication for new license duly signed by applicant upon received of an application reason parts: The council shall cost same to be displayed in conspicuous public place and invite objection to the issuance of the license from the residence of the area where the license is applied for and the objection must be received within 14 days of the application meaning that before giving the association the license the community to operate this beer business, people shall be invited to confirm whether a license should be giving to sell beer in that community.
“On the expiration of the 14 days if no objection is received the council may proceed to issue the license but if an objection is raised the applicant shall be informed.
“Upon the receipt of the application representative of the council shall proceed to either issue the license or reject the application and then inform the applicant of the rejection of the application immediately.
“That the liquor/spirit may be consumed within the license premises(meaning that drinking shall not be carried out outside that area)
That the liquor/spirit shall not be sold to any person below the age of 18years.
“That violation of any of the condition of this license shall render it liable of revocation and persecution. That the license shall be subjected to annual renewal”, it stated.
One of the women victims, mr. Hanatu James who spoke to our reporter said she has been in the business since 1994, adding that they relied on the sale of beer, liquor and palmwine for their children fees and feeding.
All efforts to clarify from council was futile as the chairman neither received calls nor respond to text put to him.