Nigeria: More than 70 people detained over a ‘gay wedding’
More than 70 young people were arrested on Saturday by security forces on charges of organising a gay wedding in north-east Nigeria.
Same-sex marriage is illegal in Nigeria under a 2014 law, and punishable by 14 years in prison.
“We apprehended 76 suspected homosexuals at a birthday party organised by one of them who was due to marry his fiancé at the event,” said Buhari Saad, the spokesman for the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Gombe State, a paramilitary organisation under the government.
The arrested youths include 59 men and 17 women.
In August, police arrested more than a hundred men in similar circumstances in south-east Nigeria.
Gombe State, where the arrests took place on Saturday, is also one of the northern states with a Muslim majority where Islamic Sharia law is applied alongside the federal and state judicial systems.
Under Sharia law, homosexual relations are punishable by death. However, this sentence has never been applied in northern Nigeria. The NSCDC spokesman refused to say whether the suspects arrested on Saturday would be charged under Sharia law or ordinary law.
CHANCE UMUKUNZI / RWANDA SUN