Islamic sharia police in the northern Nigerian city of Kano have arrested 19 young people for organising a gay wedding, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Malam Lawan Ibrahim, spokesperson of Hisbah told newsmen that the youths were gathered to witness the wedding of two suspected homosexuals Abba and Mujahid. “The arrest was made after a Good Samaritan hinted to the board about same-sex marriage. “Our personnel attached to Hisbah board headquarters, Sharada Kano, arrived at the scene before the commencement of the wedding.
“Among those arrested were 15 females and four males,’’ Ibrahim stated. “Abba and Mujahid escaped immediately after Hisbah personnel arrived at the wedding venue, but the organiser, Salma Usman, 21, is in our custody. “Those arrested will be handed over to the police for necessary action as most of the ladies claimed they were invited to the wedding from neighbouring states, he said
Kano is among around a dozen predominantly Muslim states in northern Nigeria where sharia law operates alongside common law. Homosexuality is punishable by death under that law, although the sentence has never been enforced. In 2014, the Nigerian government signed the same-sex marriage prohibition act with punishment ranging from 10 to 14 years in prison.
The Kano State Hisbah Board (agency enforcing Islamic religious morals) is notorious for raiding and publicity parading alleged gays and lesbians although there have been few convictions.
In July 2021, the group arrested five men on suspicion of engaging in homosexuality at Sheka Barde in the Kumbotso local government area in Kano state. Also in January 2020, the Sharia law enforcement operatives invaded a compound located at Sabuwar-Gandu quarters in the Kano metropolis and arrested dozens of suspected homosexuals for allegedly planning a gay wedding. The group said over 50 alleged homosexuals were involved.