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Kaduna Demolition: Moral Or Legal?

January 12, 2021 | Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
Written by Tolulope Oduola

On the 31st of December 2020, the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KASUPDA) demolished a hotel in the state. The hotel known as Asher Hotel in Barnawa Kaduna South was demolished by the Kaduna State Government.

A statement published read, “KASUPDA has demolished Asher Hotel in Barnawa Kaduna South. Asher Hotel was the proposed venue for the Kaduna Sex Party. The hotel was also caught contravening the COVID-19 guidelines of the state. KASUPDA will not hesitate to demolish properties used for such an immoral act.”

The Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Olusegun Runsewe later came out in a statement to commend the governor for the demolition.

He said that the governor, Mr. El-Rufai “deserved kudos for the prompt response to the disgusting sex party by promptly demolishing the building as a warning to others who could be planning such immorality.”

He further mentioned that “but for this intervention, Kaduna state possibly would become the new capital and destination for sex tourism in Nigeria. This will lead to social disconnect and dislocations with drug peddling in tow and our children destroyed in the process and there are no sentiments about dealing with it as Gov. El-Rufai has done.”

The owner of the hotel, Aisha Yakubu however gave a claim different from what the Kaduna state government agency said.

According to her, she “denied knowledge of that event as there was nothing of that sort taking place at the restaurant and I wouldn’t stoop so low to entertain such illicit activity at my place but the police refused to believe me and had my friend and two of my staff detained for one night until the customer that had earlier hired the place for usage on that fateful day was also arrested the next day.”

A deeper inquiry into the saga brings up more questions as to why this demolition happened. 

First of all, the police team had arrived on the 27th of December 2020 to effect the arrests based on a poster of an event that was on social media titled; KADUNA SEX PARTY which they claimed was to be held at that venue. Surprising though is the fact that there was no indication of the venue to be used for the event on the poster.

One would be forced to assume that for the sake of competence, the police had done some undercover good policing work to determine that that was the actual location for the event. Hence it is shocking to discover that it was the owner of the hotel who suggested that the police call the number on the poster before that was done and it was revealed using the True Caller App that the number on the poster belonged to a Marvellous Akpan.

More distressing though is the alleged fact that she had to pay a fee of N20,000 to the police before they could do their job of tracking the usage of the phone number and also that the detainees had to pay N10,000 to an Inspector Felix and a lady officer. 

Why then was the building demolished when it was discovered that there was no sex party at the venue? Was the incident tackled legally or under a moral disguise?

Nigeria as a country is governed by laws; laws that are binding on every person, state, arms of government in the land, and even offenses against morality are adequately taken care of.

Under the provisions of the Criminal Code Act, Chapter 21 contains the provisions of Section 214-233 which covers the Criminal Code Act for “offenses against morality” and none of these laws seem to have been contravened.

Section 231 covers indecent acts and it states that “any person who willfully and without lawful excuse does any indecent act in any public place; or willfully does any indecent act in any place with intent to insult or offend any person, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for two years.”

Nowhere in the laws that bind us as a nation is demolishing a building accepted and even more so when the allegation was not proved. This saga sadly just reeks of harassment, recklessness, and abuse of power.

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