Tag Archives: Nigeria gay rights

Nigeria homophobia – 54 charged over gay wedding

BBC

Islamic sharia enforcers called Hisbah on patrol in the northern Nigerian city of KanoImage copyright AFP
Image caption Much of northern Nigeria is governed by Islamic law, or Sharia

Prosecutors in the northern Nigeria state of Kaduna have charged a group of 53 people with conspiring to celebrate a gay wedding.

The accused, arrested last Saturday, have denied the allegations, with their lawyers saying they were illegally detained.

The court released the group on bail and the case was remanded to 8 May.

Homosexual acts are banned in socially conservative Nigeria and are punishable by up to 14 years in jail.

During a court appearance in Chediya-Zaria, the group pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, unlawful assembly and belonging to an unlawful society.

Defence lawyer Yunusa Umar said most of the accused were students and had been illegally detained for more than 24 hours, the local Premium Times newspaper reported.

Gay rights campaigners who have been in touch with people involved in the case told the BBC’s Stephanie Hegarty in Lagos the accused were arrested at a birthday party, not a wedding.

Nigeria has an influential Christian evangelical movement in the south and strong support for Islamic law in the north, both of which oppose homosexuality.

In January 2014, the Hisbah, or Islamic police, in Bauchi state raided several locations and arrested about a dozen men accused of sodomy acts.

Some of the men later appeared before a Sharia court for a bail hearing and an angry crowd gathered outside, demanding swift and severe punishment.

Stones were thrown at the court and the hearing was halted.

Police had to shoot in the air to disperse the mob and get the suspects back to prison safely, though there they are also vulnerable.

The ban on homosexuality, brought into effect in 2014, is used by some police officers and members of the public to legitimise abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

“Extortion, mob violence, arbitrary arrest, torture in detention, and physical and sexual violence” are common against people suspected of homosexual activities, HRW said in a 2016 report.

Nigeria – Jonathan accuses Buhari of making gay marriage pledge to Western countries

Premium Times

Jonathan accuses Buhari of gay pledge to world powers over election

Femi Fani-Kayode

Femi Fani-Kayode

President Goodluck Jonathan has accused his main challenger in March 28 election, Muhammadu Buhari, of assuring western nations of his preparedness to support same-sex marriage if he wins the forthcoming polls.

Mr. Jonathan, who spoke through his campaign organization, said Mr. Buhari made the pledge to secure the support of the countries to win election.

Femi Fani-Kayode, the Spokesperson of President Jonathan, said four western countries extracted a commitment from Mr. Buhari, who represents the All Progressives Congress, to support a legislation enabling same sex marriage.

Amid a flurry of apparently election-fuelled allegations, the claim by the Jonathan camp Wednesday seemed one of the most serious.

Still, Mr. Fani-Kayode, reputed for making unsubstantiated allegations against political opponents, refused to give the names of the four countries he was referring to.

Mr. Buhari, seen by his supporters as a non-nonsense former military leader, whose brief administration in the 1980s waged campaigns against indiscipline and corruption, has not given any hint suggesting he would condone same-sex relationship, already outlawed in Nigeria.

Nigeria’s National Assembly has already passed a bill making gay marriage a criminal offense, and offenders risk spending 14 years in jail if convicted.

But addressing a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, Mr. Fani-Kayode said the proposition was made to Mr. Buhari by the representatives of a number of western governments when he was in the United Kingdom recently.

Mr. Fani Kayode said Mr. Buhari had appealed to the western leaders for support and to get their endorsement.

“He had talks with the representatives of at least four western countries. The leaders of those countries made an offer to General Muhammadu Buhari and we are reliably informed that he has put the offer under consideration.

“The proposition and offer was that if he was prepared to support legislation in Nigeria to allow same sex marriage and if he was prepared to repeal the anti-gay laws in Nigeria they will, in return, endorse, support and fund him, initially covertly and eventually publicly, at the right time,” he said.

He also said that instead of out rightly rejecting these offers and spurning this proposition, Mr. Buhari “apparently refused to rule it out and has put the matter under consideration.

“Instead of him to say NO he assured them that he would consider these two things.

“We believe that this is a matter that ought to be brought to the attention of the Nigerian people as a matter of urgency,” he said.

Mr. Fani-Kayode added that the APC are so desperate to ensure that Mr. Buhari becomes the President of Nigeria that they are actually prepared to consider the scrapping of all anti-gay or anti-homosexual legislations and at the same time, endorsing and supporting fresh legislation that would allow same sex marriage in the country.

“They are considering this despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the Nigerian people find same sex marriage and, indeed, homosexuality repugnant and unacceptable.

“We are using this occasion to challenge General Buhari to come clean and to tell the Nigerian people whether this is true and whether, in the unlikely event of his being elected President, he is seriously considering scrapping the anti-homosexual laws in our country and pushing through new legislation which would allow same sex marriage,” Mr. Fani-Kayode said.