Bauchi: 18 arrested for sodomy •Face death penalty
EIGHTEEN suspected homo-sexuals have been arrested by the police in Bauchi for alleged sodomy.
The accused may be sentenced to death if convicted under Bauchi State’s Islamic Shariah law.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the suspects were arrested Sunday in a hotel in Bauchi and arraigned Wednesday before Justice Taminu Abubakar of the Bauchi High Court.
Prosecuting police officer, Thadius Boboi told the court that the men, who were wearing female clothing, had come to the city from five neighbouring states to celebrate a gay "marriage".
He said the men’s actions had contravened the shari’ah penal code adopted in Bauchi and other states in muslim northern Nigeria eight years ago following the end of military rule.
In June an agency tasked with implementing shari’ah law in Bauchi called on the new state governor Isa Yuguda to approve three sentences of death by stoning and 40 of amputation passed since 2002 which his predecessor had refused to ratify.
The death sentences were passed for sexual offences, including one for sodomy.
In a Nigerian shari’ah state, the governor must give his approval before punishments like death and amputation passed by shari’ah courts are actually carried out.
Daily Champion recalls that the Federal Government last year banned gay marriage in Nigeria, thus ending hopes by people of same sex to enjoy marital relationships in the country.
The ban also affects staging of gay rallies. This resolution was reached during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting which considered and endorsed the bill prohibiting gay marriage. It slammed five years prison terms with no option of fine on both direct violators of the law and those that aid and abet such marriages.
Immediate past minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Bayo Ojo (SAN) presented the bill to the meeting leading to the resolution.