By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
A Kaduna State High Court 1, sitting at Dogarawa Zaria has struck out the case instituted against Sabon Gari Local Government by Mr Ezenobi Godwin and Mr Adeola Sunday for banning beer parlours and sales of alcohol in the area.
Delivering judgement on the case, Justice Kabir Dabo said the case was struck out for want of diligent prosecution.
Mr Ezenobi Godwin and Mr Adeola Sunday were suing Sabon Gari Local Government Council on behalf of themselves and all members of the Hoteliers and Beer Parlour Proprietors Association Sabon Gari Local Government Area.
Barrister Mohammed Yahuza the lead counsel for the Defendant (Sabon Gari Local Government) told the court that the case was adjourned for hearing of the substantive application and neither the Plaintiff nor their counsel was in Court.
The presiding judge enquired from the Court Registrar whether plaintiff counsel has applied for a stand down or adjournment, where the Registrar said there was no communication from the Plaintiff.
Defence Counsel therefore said absence of the Plaintiffs indicates that they were not interested in prosecuting the matter and applied that the matter be struck out.
He also applied that the restraining order issued by the Court should also be vacated and the presiding judge Justice Kabir Dabo granted the application.
It would be recalled that on June 11, the Plaintiff sued Sabon Gari Local Government for the following reliefs.
” A declaration that the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) does not confer on the dependent the function of prohibiting the sale or consumption of liquor.
“A declaration that the defendant cannot as a matter of choice refuse to perform its constitutional function of licensing the sale of liquor.”
On the same June 11 the Plaintiff applied for an Ex-Parte Application for an interim injunction restraining Sabon Gari Local Government from stopping/closure of beer parlours, or sale of liquor, brothels in Sabon Gari Local Government.
The court ordered that status quo ante be maintained in the case and also ordered that the defendant should file appearance within seven days and response to the summons within seven days so that the Originating summons can be heard within shortest possible time.
The defendant through its counsel maintained that it was not banning sale and consumption of liquor in the area but enforcing its constitutional powers to regulate it at local government level.
He added that the association has failed to renew its license since 2018.
The local government also filed a preliminary objection to the suite which was hinged on the failure of the Plaintiff to issue Pre-action notice and improper service of the court process which offends sections 79 (2) of Kaduna State Laws.
In a related development, Sabon Gari Local Government has demolished 21 shops belong to the Local Government at IBB road PZ which was initially used as beer parlours and shops for selling liquor.