Laleye Dipo in Minna
An Minna Chief Magistrate Court tuesday sentenced one Baba Abuja to 12 months imprisonment for contravening the Sharia law.
Abuja was arrested and charged before Chief Magistrate Abdullahi Usman for selling alcohol in a prohibited area of Paiko town.
According to the Sharia law which came into effect in the state in 2002, it is illegal to sell alcohol in local government area headquarters without obtaining the required permit.
However, Chief Magistrate Usman gave the convict an option of N200,000 fine.
According to the prosecution, the arrest was based on a petition by some residents of Paiko which was addressed to the state Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, indicating that the sale and consumption of alcohol in the Paiko town had constituted a serious security threat to the people.
The prosecution said the governor directed the Chairman of the liquor board, Yahaya Halidu, to commence investigation of the petition which led to the arrest of the convict.
When the charge was read, Baba Abuja admitted guilt and was summarily tried. Items recovered from him and tendered as exhibits included cartons of Guilder, local gins, Star Larger beer and stout.
In the same court, a female liquor vendor, Asabe Solomon, was also sentenced to six months imprisonment with an option of N50,000 fine for selling alcohol in Gbadna village also in Paiko Local Government Area of the state.
When she was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Usman, she pleaded guilty to the charge of selling locally brewed alcohol popularly called Burukutu without licence.
She urged the court to consider her age and give her a light sentence promising to stop the sale of alcohol.