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Falana tackles El-Rufai over demolition of nude party building

Access Bank

Rights advocate, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), says Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State flouted Section 79 of the Kaduna State Urban and Regional Planning Law, 2018, which he personally signed when his government demolished Asher Lounge, the venue of the aborted sex party.

Falana, who handed a copy of the state law to The PUNCH, quoted several sections of the legislation which El-Rufai’s government flouted.

The senior advocate argued that there was nowhere the law permitted the government or its agencies to demolish a building without prior notice or giving room for fair hearing.

He said, “The law which was signed by El-Rufai in 2018 does not allow for demolition without a notice. Section 79 of the law is clear. No governor has the right to authorise a demolition of the property of anyone.

“The governor cannot be the accuser, the prosecutor, the judge and the executor the judgment. All the states in Nigeria have similar laws, whether in Rivers or Lagos. None has the power to pull down the property of any citizen who has not been given the opportunity of making a representation.

“No one is in support of sex parties taking place in the country but anyone found wanting should be arrested and prosecuted according to the law. They should have prosecuted those accused of committing the offence and not pulled down the building.”

Falana described the press conference by Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Agency as an afterthought.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Kaduna State Urban State Urban Planning Development Agency, Mr Ismail Umaru-Dikko, has said Asher Lounge, the purported venue of a sex party, was demolished because the property had no building permit.

There had been outrage against the state government after officials of the agency pulled down the building last Thursday over a poster on social media advertising a sex party.

Although no venue was stated in the invite, the government claimed the event was billed to hold at the facility.

On Tuesday, the DG, while briefing journalists, said apart from violating COVID-19 regulations, the property had no permit.

He said, “Since this enforcement action, much of the commentary on the matter has centred on the inaccurate statement from KASUPDA’s Twitter account.

“While regretting the inaccuracy of the handler of our social media account, there is no reservation about the steps taken pursuant to enforce the laws and regulations of Kaduna State on property that was in violation of its provisions.

“Since March 26, 2020, the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Partial Lockdown Order 2020 had been in force in Kaduna State. Although some of the regulations were significantly relaxed in June 2020, they were tightened again in December 2020 in response to a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

“Indications that an activity in violation of the COVID regulations was planned to be held in Asher Lounge drew attention to the property and made it necessary to examine the status of the building.

“Checks of government records showed that the building housing Asher Lounge has neither a valid title nor development permit.

“Once due diligence revealed the illegal status of the building, there was the need for enforcement action without the notification requirements that the law compels for holders of valid titles and development permits.”

The Punch

 

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