There was tension in Sabon Gari Local Government, Zaria on Thursday at the public hearing on the proposed bill to ban sales and consumption of alcohol and other related substances by Sabon Gari local government area of Kaduna state.
In a letter dated 21st October, 2019, invited Hotel and Beer Parlour Proprietors Association otherwise known as Liquor Association for the public hearing.
Making their observation and submission at the hearing through their lawyer, Mr. Daniel Peters noted that LG in Nigeria have the power to license, regulate and control sales of liquor, they do not have power to prohibit the sales of liquor as well as do not have legislative power to prohibit consumption of beer.
According section 5 and 6 of the said Bill clearly prohibit the sale and consumption of alcohol and this is outside the legislative powers of Local Governments “clearly stated in the fourth schedule of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended) and therefore ultra vires and not within the legislative competence of LGs.”
He also noted that, section 7 of the proposed Bill which talked about prostitution had been legislated by the Kaduna State Assembly in section 169 of the Kaduna State Penal code which is applicable and enforceable in Sabon Gari LG based on its constitutional powers.
However, the hoteliers recommended that “the proposed Bill should in fact be on licensing, regulation and control of the sale of liquor as clearly stated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended) and not to prohibit sale and and consumption of alcohol in Sabon Gari should be guided by its legislative powers conferred by the Constitution and not arrogate unto itself extra powers outside the provision s of the law.
“That in exercising its constitutional powers of control in this regards, sale of alcohol can be exempted in open.
“That all persons who sell alcohol within the Local Government must belong to liquor Association within the Local Government for easy identification, regulation and control.
“That the Local Government should only give license for sell of alcohol or liquor to persons approved by Liquor Association within the Local Government so as to ensure easy/proper regulation and control.”
Also, pushing for the suspension of the Bill at the hearing, local liquor seller also known as ‘Brukutu’, Richard Sankai saying that the sale of the drink assist widows among others to take care of their family.
Meanwhile, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Zaria said no religion advocates or preach for the sale and consumption of liquor.