‘SEX PARTY’ HOTEL DEMOLITION: HAS THE KADUNA STATE GOVT SPREAD ITS LAP AGAINST THE LAW?

The rise in sexual activities in Nigeria especially among youths and young people has been at an alarming rate. The reason is not unconnected to unrestricted access to pornography made possible by internet-enabled devices in a world of affordable data.

Thus, when the news broke recently about a proposed sex party somewhere in Kaduna State, it didn’t come as a shock in view of the level of moral decadence prevalent in our society today. The young people involved have since been apprehended by the authorities in Kaduna State. The reason furnished by them was that the flyer for the proposed sex party event was all joke, but the Government was not amused.

Apart from the arrest of the people involved, the news that sparked mixed feelings was the demolition of the alleged venue (Asher Hotel at Barnawa area of the State) for the sex party by the Kaduna State Government through its agency, the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KASUPDA).

Expectedly, the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria hailed the arrest of the alleged organizers of what it termed “Satanic Kaduna Sex Party” and demolition of the Hotel/Restaurant. According to the Council, “No doubt this kind of illicit act is one of the ingredients that is fueling the wrath of Allah (SWT) that we are inflicted with currently.” In particular, the Council noted that “The current merciless bloodletting through banditry, kidnappings, armed robbery, and host of other vices, are as a result of our derailment from ideal moral and cultural values.”

The claim that moral decadence accounts for the security challenges and avoidable deaths in the country is a subject for another discussion. But of course, whether in Christianity or Islamic religion, the belief is strongly held that when sinfulness overruns a nation, that nation might be plagued by God. However, the disposition of Muslims in Nigeria especially, tend to tilt more towards sinfulness related to sexual activities and alcoholism, with less emphasis on official corruption in government and bad governance. Is the high level of poverty and low level of education seen especially in Northern Nigeria also caused by immorality and alcoholism? The World Bank has estimated that 87% of all the poor people in Nigeria are in the North. According to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF):

The education deprivation in northern Nigeria is driven by various factors, including economic barriers and socio-cultural norms and practices that discourage attendance in formal education, especially for girls. 

Demolition and possible breach of rights

The beauty of the law is not defined only by its letters, but mainly by enforcement which follows due process, in fairness and justice, for the betterment of humanity.

KASUPDA has cited breach of Covid-19 guidelines and immorality as the reasons for the demolition of the Hotel, but without citing any specific piece of legislation that was violated and how convincingly the alleged violations were established through the courts or tribunal. KASUPDA also failed to show how the building contravened the right of occupancy as claimed.

From the account of Aisha Yakubu, the owner of Asher Hotel/Restaurant, we learnt of the following crucial information: there is nothing in the Sex Party event flyer indicating that the proposed Sex Party was to hold in her Hotel (the flyer as seen online speaks for itself); there was no evidence that Asher Hotel was booked for the event and there was nothing to show that the management of the Hotel sanctioned the event.

Assuming that the Kaduna State Government made the discovery through intelligence report, the better thing to do was to plant security operatives within and around the venue in order to catch red-handed the culprits before the act is fully accomplished. More so, the Government may put the Hotel on a general watch list. Oftentimes, we have seen the Government at different levels around the country make rash decisions which leave many loopholes for reasonable criticisms. Was there proof of thorough investigation? Was the owner of the Hotel granted fair hearing? How well was the culpability of the Hotel owner established? Was the Court involved at any stage? Kaduna State Government is familiar with questionable demolition exercises and has no difficulty in deploying excavators to uproot structures at the slightest trigger.

Section 43 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) guaranteed the fundamental right of citizens to own property. Aisha Yakubu may seek to enforce this right in addition to other rights available to her under the law of torts for the perceived civil wrongs done to her and for the recovery of her alleged losses. 

Was the demolition the best?

But how does the demolition of the Hotel/Restaurant solve the real underlying problems? Even if hotels cease to exist in the State, those who desire to party and serve sex like party cakes will still do so in other venues including their private dwellings. Will the Government turn the State to a desert? The heat of our anger should rest squarely on the immoral acts and their perpetrators and not particularly on buildings. Leveling the structure is not an achievement. Are there no other options? Fining the Hotel owners and/or withdrawing their license is an option. If the Government can flex its powers in demolishing the Hotel, it can also seek to legally confiscate it and use the place for youth empowerment programmes or Covid-19 isolation centre (and of course pay compensation to the owner in deserving circumstances). The demolition of the structure is a clear waste of valuable resources. If we channel similar energy of our exasperation towards sexually related vices and alcoholism to massive development, the society will be a lot better and our hypocrisy will be less profoundly defined.

Conclusion

The available facts concerning the demolition of Asher Hotel/Restaurant as the alleged venue for the proposed ‘Sex Party’ reveal that the Kaduna State Government appears to have opened its lap against the law, and the law will not hesitate to get in, because where this is a right, there is a remedy.

 

Featured Image Credit: BBC



Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has worked with a number of startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.

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