Beer dealer and owner of Silver Tavern, along Igbo Road in Kano, Sylvanus Mba, who was arrested alongside one of his sons by the state Islamic police, Hisbah, has been released after parting with N80, 000 as bail.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported how Mba, his sons and workers were beaten by Hisbah officials after which the alcoholic beverages he had stocked to sell were confiscated.
Executives of the beer dealers’ association in the state had earlier gone to Hisbah office to secure the release of the man to no avail.
On Monday, a source told SaharaReporters that Mba, who was detained alongside his son, had been released after meeting the bail conditions set for him.
The source however noted that Mba incurred losses in the process.
The source condemned Hisbah’s activities in the state, stressing that its officials are fond of intimidating and arresting people in the state over flimsy excuses, including those who are not Muslims.
He said, “We were trying to find out what actually happened. If anything happens in the North here, the accused person is always intimidated so you won’t be able to argue. When Hisbah people came, they fought him and took away his drinks, phone and money. They arrested him and one of his sons. They were in detention for two days before Hisbah people took him to one court at Haji Camp; the court was in one small room.”
The source said the Hisbah officials had written some statements which they made Mba and his son to sign.
He also said Mba and his son were forced to plead guilty to a crime they were not guilty of.
“The Hisbah people took them to that court and tried to apportion blame on them, claiming they saw some narcotics in their store but the father and his son pleaded not guilty to that, and they had to postpone the case to Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. But because they are people who do not want trouble with those people, the best thing for them was to plead guilty and pay a fine.
“They had to do that through their lawyer because of the intimidation. If you say you are not guilty, there is no way they can bail you out.
“Imagine someone coming to your store to attack you, take your money, beat you up, take your goods away and you are still the one who has to plead guilty. Are you pleading guilty for being alive or what? Or guilty for being on one side of the country where they don’t need you?” the source said.
He said the duo were fined N40, 000 each or face the option of spending four months in prison.
“If they say they are not guilty, they will keep them in detention, who knows the fate of those people in prison?” the source asked.