Controversy has continued to trail the demolition of a facility by the Kaduna State Government with the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, receiving commendation from a federal official while the owner of the building faulted the exercise and threatened to sue the state government for defamation and losses.
Asher Kings and Queens Restaurant and Lounge, located at Sabon Tasha, in Kaduna, was demolished on December 31, days after “Kaduna Sex Party” poster appeared in public.
The owner, Aisha Yakubu, said she lost one-month pregnancy due to the trauma she suffered as she watched the demolition of her property.
The demolition was carried out by Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency, KASUPDA, on the order of Mr El-Rufai, the agency said, alleging that the party was to hold at Asher.
“KASUPDA have demolished Asher Hotel in Barnawa Kaduna South,” the agency said in a tweet on January 1. “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 immoral act.”
In a statement on Sunday, the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Olusegun Runsewe, commended Mr El-Rufai for the demolition, saying “such sex party was a total disrespect for the Nigerian culture.”
Mr Runsewe, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, said on Sunday that Mr El-Rufai “deserved kudos for prompt response to the disgusting sex party by promptly demolishing the building as a warning to others who could be planning such immorality.”
“But for this intervention by the governor, 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.
“In 1992, Senegal and Uganda, experienced massive influx of sex tourists and immediately took hard measures to curb it because if left unchecked, sex tourism will damage the spiritual, moral and cultural values of any society.
“And there is no sentiments about dealing with it as Gov. El-Rufai has done,’’ he stated.
In a similar view to Mr Runsewe, KASUPDA had said on Friday that Asher was used for an “immoral act” and that it “will not hesitate to deal decisively with any individual or group (that) tries to engage in any act that exposes our citizens to moral decadence.”
Owner denies knowledge of sex party
However, Aisha Yakubu, the owner of Asher, debunked the government’s claim and said there was no plan to use her property for the said sex party.
“I 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,” she said in her statement, disclosing what she had told the police before the demolition.
“But the Police refused to believe me and had my friend and two of my staff detained for one night, one day, until the customer that had earlier hired the place for usage on that fateful day was also arrested the next day. They were released after paying a “bail fee” of #100,000 to Inspector Felix and one other lady Officer, fair in complexion.”
The customer, she said, had on December 27, 2020, “hired the VIP Lounge for a 15-man reunion/Clothing line promo, to appreciate his customers for their good patronage of his brands.”
She identified the customer as Mr Chimezie.
She said the police team had arrived before the commencement of the reunion party and taken him and others away.
“When we arrived the Police station, my customer, who accompanied me to the station, enquired what the matter was and the Police showed us a poster on a GSM phone belonging to one of the officers by name Inspector Felix. It was a poster of an event titled; KADUNA SEX PARTY, which the Police claimed the venue for the supposed “sex party” was scheduled to hold at my restaurant, even though with no address of where it will take place on the poster.”
She further said, “I noticed how incompetent the NPF were, I suggested to them to call the number on the supppsed “Kaduna Sex Party” poster, which they immediately put a call through and a name came out using the True Caller App as MARVELLOUS AKPAN. The Police asked me to pay a fee of #20,000 for them to do their job of tracking the user of the phone number, which I immediately paid them so that they would swing into action.”
The police spokesperson for Kaduna State, Jalige Mohammed, told PREMIUM TIMES he had just seen the allegation that police were paid to release a detainee and collected money to track a number.
He said the police would investigate “and get back.”
Ms Yakubu continued, “Marvellous Akpan was arrested the next. He was interrogated and he obliged to owning the phone number on the poster address. Mr Chimeze, who had hired the place, was released, summarily, after the successful arrest of Mr Akpan.
“The next day, 31st December, while at the other Branch of my restaurant, at Court Road,Sabon Tasha, Kaduna, a friend of mine called me asked me to go to the main Restaurant and see what was going on. I immediately went and saw a combined team of Police men, Soldiers, KASTLEA and Vigilante groups guarded a pay loader to demolish my restaurant. No prior notice was served to me before the demolition, there was no any form of communication between I and the Kaduna State Property Development Agency (KASUPDA) who came to demolished the building structure.
“Even when they arrived the location, the main entrance to the main Restaurant and the restaurant was under lock and key. There was no any form of communication to me!
“I watched them pull down the building without allowing me remove any item before the demolition. As a result of the trauma, I lost my one month old pregnancy.
“I also incurred the following loses;
1. cooking utensils 2. Furniture 3.Electric appliances
5. Deep freezers
6. Bemarrings out door catering utensils
7. Cash, et al worth over #32 million, as the place was abruptly vandalised after the demolition.
“I plan to seek legal redress for defamation of my character and the loss of my properties in the building.”
PREMIUM TIMES shared Ms Yakubu’s statement with a spokesperson to Mr El-Rufai, Muyiwa Adekeye, requesting a reaction. There was no response as of the time this report was published.
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