Laleye Dipo in Minna
Operatives of the Niger State liquor Licensing Board charged with the enforcement of the 2002 Sharia law have arrested 11 suspects for engaging in prostitution.
They were apprehended at the Mandela area of the state capital and at the Nagari hotel also in Minna.
Among those arrested were Jennifer Innocent, Blessing Tioyo, Comfort David, Blessing Marshal and Inferang Akpan.
Others were Hadiza Mohammed, Evelyn Daniel, James Omande, Jessica Gbele and Godwin Jenifer.
They were all brought before the Chief Magistrate Abdullahi Usman charged with prostitution contrary to section 200 and 408(b) of the penal code.
The prosecuting counsel Muktar Mohammed urged the court to convict the accused persons according to the provisions of the law since they could not claim ignorance of the existence of the legislation.
All the accused persons pleaded guilty and were summarily tried and convicted by Chief Magistrate Abdullahi Usman.
Three of the convicts were sentenced to 12 months imprisonment with option of N50,000 fine, two of them were sent to jail for 6 months with option of N30,000 fine while the others were sentenced to between two and three months respectively with option of N10,000 and N20,000 fines.
The Chief Magistrate advised them to seek for better ways to make a living instead of engaging in prostitution, warning that they would face stiffer penalies if brought before the court for the same offence in future.
The chairman of the state liquor licensing board, Alhaji Yahaya Haladu, said after the court session that “no stone would be left unturned to wipe out prostitution from all the 25 local government areas of the state.”
“ The Niger State Liquor licensing Board has zero tolerance for prostitution because it is part of the mandate given to us by the state government and we shall carryout the enforcement to the latter.”