two_nigerian_men_acquitted_of_homosexuality_charges_by_Islamic_courtTwo men charged with homosexuality in Nigeria have been acquitted by an Islamic court.

They were among a number of men arrested in the Northern state of Bauchi late last year for having had gay sex and belonging to a gay club.

According to BBC News, The judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to convict two of the men.

He said that there were no witnesses to the alleged sexual acts, noting that one man was wearing shorts and the other was fully dressed when they were arrested.

The acquittals are the first in the recent crackdown on homosexuality in Bauchi that has seen five Muslim men being found guilty but avoiding the death penalty, which is allowed in the state. They were instead sentenced to 20 lashes.

Four other Muslim men are still awaiting trial on homosexuality charges under Islamic law, while a fifth Christian man will be tried in a secular court.

In January, two Islamic courts in the state had to suspend the trials against some of the men after police were forced to use tear gas and fire shots into the air to disperse a mob throwing stones at the accused.

Bauchi is one of twelve northern Nigerian states to have adopted Sharia law, which allows for the death penalty by stoning for homosexuality. Sharia law runs parallel to the other state and federal legal systems and is applicable to Muslims in these states.

In addition to Sharia law, LGBT Nigerians face additional severe persecution thanks to a new extreme federal anti-gay law which came into force this year. It punishes any form of same-sex relationships and gay organisations with prison sentences of up to 14 years.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Latest Comments
  1. Pieter Steenberg
    Reply -

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend