Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Niger State Government has revoked all the licences issued to liquor dealers throughout the state.
The Niger State Liquor Licensing Board, the body charged with the responsibility of regulating the sale and consumption of alcohol, announced this in a statement signed by its chairman, Malam Muhammad Shafii.
The state government had in 2000 introduced the Sharia legal system in the state under which sale and consumption of alcohol and related beverages in restricted areas of major town and cities in the state were prohibited.
Under the law, the sale and consumption of alcohol are restricted to eight kilometres from each of the city centre.
But in a U-turn on Monday, the state government banned the outright sale and consumption of alcohol in any part of the state.
In the statement in Minna, Shafii said liquor vendors caught contravening the order would not only be arrested but prosecuted.
The statement asked law enforcement agents to implement the directive by arresting and prosecuting offenders.
To give vent to the new policy, two major liquor dealers in the state were arrested over the weekend and would be charged to court soon.
In the same manner, operatives of the board also recently seized and destroyed N28 million worth of assorted liquor in Minna.