Soldiers of the Nigerian Army on Wednesday stormed the headquarters of Hisbah, otherwise known as Sharia Police in Dutse, Jigawa State capital to recover alcohol seized by officials of the board.
The state’s Hisbah commander, Ibrahim Dahiru, told reporters how cartons of alcohol were seized by his men late Wednesday at Takur- Adua Nasara joint.
According to Dahiru, during the operation, 70 cartons and 13,920 bottles of alcohol were impounded by the officials. He said all the seized items were deposited at the Hisbah office in Dutse.
However, Dahiru said soldiers attached to ‘Operation Salama’, late evening on Wednesday, stormed the office to retrieve the drinks.
“I was not around when they came, but one of my officials called me and stated that armed soldiers came with the owner of the seized alcohol and raided the building. The soldiers, however, were not able to go with any of the alcohol already kept in a locked office.
“I called the police commissioner and director, State Security Service, notified them about the incident. They pleaded for calm and swung to action by calling the soldiers to order.
“We didn’t go to military barracks to seize the alcohol, and we didn’t intercept a vehicle. We went for a proper operation where we seized the alcohol. I see no reasons why the military will act the way they did,” Mr Dahiru said.
He added that the owner (already identified) would be a charged to court.”
Meanwhile, the Jigawa Police Commissioner, Bala Senchi, confirmed the incident.
He, however, sought to downplay the soldiers’ actions. He said the soldiers did not ‘invade’ the office. ”They were on a normal routine operation in the area, they didn’t molest anyone in the office.
“The military didn’t take anything from the Hisbah, I spoke with the Hisbah commander. He confirmed to me that no one was molested,” the official said.
Meanwhile, 2nd Lt. M.I Ikemba, who reportedly led the soldiers to the Hisbah office, in a telephone interview, said all the allegations were untrue.
He said he acted based on a report he received from someone that Hisbah officials invaded their residence and seized alcohol.
“Unfortunately when they (Hisbah) went there, they broke their (joint) door and met a housewife nude. I went to the Hisbah office to ‘talk’ to the commander, but he was not around. I later sent my driver with the owner of the seized alcohol to the Hisbah office to talk. I didn’t invade the office as claimed by the Hisbah official,” he said.