The Islamic Sharia police also known as Hisbah, in Kano State has detained 80 people accused of eating in public, rather than fasting from dawn to sunset as Muslims are required to do during the holy month of Ramadan.
The Sharia police said the people were arrested at different times across the city of Kano.
Kano state is one of the several states in northern Nigeria where Sharia law was re-introduced since 2000. Sharia law is being implemented partially along with the country’s secular law.
The Hisbah spokesman in Kano state, Adamu Yahaya, told the BBC on Thursday that all those arrested were Muslims and officers do not target non-Muslims because they are not bound by Islamic law.
“Some of those arrested told us that they were eating because they did not sight the Ramadan crescent themselves while others feigned sickness, but we found their excuses baseless,” he said.
Yahaya added that the 80 were admonished and released because they were first-time offenders
He said: “They were warned that if they were caught again, they would be taken to court. We will continue with our patrols throughout Ramadan with a view to arresting Muslims who do not observe the fast.”
The Ramadan fast is compulsory for all adult Muslims but some categories of people such as those who are seriously ill are not required to fast.