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Nigeria Toughens Criminalization Of Gay Marriage Bill
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
April 13, 2006

(Abuja)   A proposed law that would impose a prison sentence on same-sex couples who marry has been toughened by the Nigerian Senate to include anyone who attends a gay wedding or is a member of any LGBT organization.

The marriage ban was proposed by President Olusegun Obasanjo and is likely to pass easily, received first reading in the Senate this week.

It would impose a five year sentence on any same-couple who marries or goes abroad to marry.   It also bans same-sex couples from living together, wed or not, outlaws adoption by gays and goes so far as to make it a criminal offense to be a member of a gay club, social organization or LGBT civil rights group.

The legislation would also impose a prison term on anyone who attends a same-sex union, witnesses a union or celebrates a ceremony involving gay or lesbian couples.

The bill would include foreigners living in Nigeria - a move that has humanitarian aid organizations concerned.

Gay or lesbian aid workers who go to Nigeria from countries where same-sex marriage is legal would have their passports scrutinized for any indication of their sexuality or marital status.

The ban on membership in gay organizations has raised concerns by human rights groups.

The bill also says that publicity or any public display of "same-sex amorous relationships" including those depicted in the electronic or print media physically, directly, indirectly or otherwise are prohibited under penalty of imprisonment in Nigeria.

The legislation is regarded as the most repressive gay measure in the world.

Last month, before the additional prohibitions were included, and in advance of a state visit to the US by President Obasanjo human rights organizations called for the bill's withdrawal. (story)

In an open letter to Obasanjo the groups, including the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and Human Rights Watch, said the proposed law contravenes international law, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and undermines Nigeria’s struggle to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.



©365Gay.com® 2005






Posted: July 13, 2005
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

More Nigerian Gays Face Death By Stoning
(Lagos) Less than a week after a United Nations official criticized Nigeria for sentencing a gay man to death by stoning two other gay men have been dragged into court to face the same sentence.

The pair, identified in the local media as Yusuf Kabir, 40, and Usman Sani,18, are accused of sodomy.   They appeared Wednesday morning in a Sharia or Islamic court in the northern town of Katsina.

Police said they were arrested while having sex in a public washroom on June 19 although today was their first court appearance.

Prosecutors were unable to provide any witnesses in court.  The judge, instead of dismissing the case as would be done in most western countries when witnesses to a crime are not provided ruled that the prosecution had until August 3 to find corroborating evidence of the crime.

In the meantime the two men will remain in prison.

Since 2000, 12 of Nigeria's northern states have adopted Sharia codes for their courtrooms.  Under Islamic law, gay sex is punishable by death.

Press reports say that more than a dozen people have been convicted to death by stoning but none of the sentences has been carried out.

Last week, Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on arbitrary executions called for an immediate review of a case involving a 50 year old man.  (story)

Alston stumbled across the man while on a UN tour of Nigerian prisons.

Alston said that the man told him he had been charged with sodomy on the word of a neighbor and brought before a Sharia court.  Following a brief trial he was acquitted for lack of evidence.

But, according to Alston's report, the judge then asked the man if he had ever had sex with another man.   When the man answered yes the judge convicted him of sodomy and sentenced him to death.



Posted: July 10 2005
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Court Sentences Gay Man To Death By Stoning
(Lagos)   A 50 year old man has been sentenced by a Nigerian court to death by stoning after he admitted in court he has had sex with men.

The man, whose name has not been made public, had been charged with sodomy and brought before a Sharia or Islamic court in northern Nigeria.   Following a brief trial he was acquitted.

But, according to a UN report, the judge then asked the man if he had ever had sex with another man.   When the man answered yes the judge convicted him of sodomy and sentenced him to death.

Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on arbitrary executions has called for an immediate review of the case by the Nigerian government.

"Sodomy cannot be considered one of the most serious crimes for which, under international law, the death penalty can be prescribed," said Alston in a statement after an official tour of Nigeria.   "The punishment is wholly disproportionate."

Alston said he interviewed the man in prison during a fact-finding visit, but added that he had stumbled upon the man by chance while investigating death row in Kano prison.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous country, with 140 million inhabitants.   It is split between Muslims in the North and Christians in the South.

Since 2000, 12 of Nigeria's northern states have adopted Sharia codes for their courtrooms.   Under Islamic law, gay sex is punishable by death.

Gay men are routinely rounded up in Nigeria, often only as a result of third party gossip.

Last November police arrested one man and an arrest warrant was issued for another after they were accused of having gay sex. (story)

The first is awaiting trial on a capital charge of sodomy in a Sharia court but the second escaped and is believed to have fled the country.

The charges were laid after neighbors alleged the men were gay.

In December a Nigerian gay man who fled to the US from his homeland after a angry mob murdered his partner was granted asylum after being detained 11 months by immigration.

As an asylee, he is permitted to remain in the United States indefinitely and he can apply for legal permanent residence after one year.

However, his ordeal may not be over.   The Department of Homeland Security has reserved the right to appeal in the case.



Posted: November 29, 2004
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Man Faces Death By Stoning For Gay Sex
(Lagos, Nigeria) An Islamic court has issued an arrest warrant for a middle-aged man accused of having gay sex.   If caught and convicted the Sharia court in Keffi could sentence him to death by stoning

The warrant was issued for Michael Ifediora Nwokoma after neighbors alleged he was gay and was having sex with with another man.   That person was identified in the Nigerian media as a local businessman named Mallam Abdullahi Ibrahim.

Ibrahim was charged but Nwokoma escaped before police could arrest him.

Press reports say that Ibrahim was nearly lynched by police in the process of getting him to confess.   He was spared only when the district commander intervened.

He is charged with the “unholy” act of "homosexualism".   If convicted Ibrahim also could face death by stoning.

Sharia courts have a wide latitude in Nigeria and usually exact the maximum penalties under strict Islamic law.

Ibrahim remains in jail until police find Nwokomah.   The court ruled that until Nwokomah is arrested Ibrahim cannot be tried.   The court decided that no mater how long it takes to find Nwokomah, Ibrahim will remain behind bars.



©365Gay.com 2004, 2005








 
 




































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































 
 





 
For archive purposes, this article is being stored on TheWE.cc website.
The purpose is to advance understandings of environmental, political,
human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues.