The law in Nigeria prohibits consensual sex between male same-sex couples. Consensual sex between lesbians is not mentioned [R1.6].
Under Nigerian Law, sex between men is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Under Islamic Sharia law, which governs parts of Nigeria, the penalty for homosexual sex is death by stoning [R1.6].
On 13 January 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same-Sex Prohibition Act into law making same-sex marriage and relationships unlawful with penalties of up to 14 years in prison [R1.5].
On 28 March 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan was reported to have pardoned Bello Magaji, a former military officer who was sentenced for sodomizing four teen boys [R1.4].
In August 2007, eighteen Nigerian men were arrested at a hotel and charged with sodomy following gay marriage celebrations in Bauchi. Sharia law, which operates in the Islamic Bauchi State means the men could face death by stoning if found guilty [R1.3].
In July 2006, “sexual deviancy” law was amended stating that sodomy is “any act involving contact between two males that would be regarded by a reasonable person as an indecent act”, making it a criminal offense for two people of the same sex to hold hands, hug, or kiss [R1.2].
In April 2006, proposed legislation to criminalize same-sex unions and GLBTI organisations, was expanded to include people who celebrate or support same-sex unions and resulting in far-reaching consequences not only for gays and lesbians, but anyone who freely associates with them [R1.1].
Since 2000, over a dozen Nigerians have been sentenced to death for sexual offences including homosexuality and adultery since Sharia law was introduced in northern Nigeria, though most sentences were commuted to prison terms [R1.2].
||Courts & Tribunals
On 30 August 2018, the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID), Panti-Yaba, Lagos, reportedly arraigned fifty-seven youths between the ages of 20 and 33 before a Chief Magistrate Kikelomo Ayeye led-court, on three counts charge, bordering on conspiracy, belonging to a secret cult, and unlawful gathering. The defendants were arrested after investigation revealed that they engaged in homosexual activities. All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail in the sum of N200,000, with one surety each [R3.10].
On 03 August 2017, 28 adults and 12 minors were reportedly arraigned before the Ebute-Metta Magistrate Court on a one-count charge: ”On or about 29th July 2017, at Vintage Hotel, No. 999 Ikorodu Road/Toyin Close, Weigh Bridge, Owode Onirin, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did engage in gay activities by permitting male persons to have canal knowledge of themselves against the order of nature and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 261 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015”. All pleaded not guilty. Chief Magistrate Adewale Ojo granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N500, 000 and two sureties in like sum [R3.9].
On 06 June 2017, it was reported that police had dropped charges against Paul Frank, 31, and Christian Ejimofor, 22, were both arrested in December 2016 and charged with conspiracy, unlawful carnal knowledge and stealing. On 30 May, both men were released having spent 50 days in prison [R3.8].
On 28 December 2016, Chief Magistrates Mrs MC Ojobo in the Oredo Magistrates’ Court in the Edo State capital Benin reportedly ordered the remand of two men, Paul Frank, 31, and Ejimofor Christian, 22, for allegedly engaging in homosexual carnal knowledge of each other [R3.7].
On 24 November 2016, a magistrates court in Damaturu reportedly sentenced four persons, Ali Sherif, 30, Yusuf Mukaila, 45, Sule Hassan, 32 and Mustapha Usman, 23, to seven years in prison following their conviction on charges of homosexuality [R3.6].
On 06 March 2014, an Islamic court in Bauchi city reportedly sentenced four men aged between 20 and 22 to 15 strokes of the whip on the buttocks and a year’s imprisonment if they cannot pay a fine of $120 [R3.5].
On 16 January 2014, it was reported that Judge Nuhu Mohammed in the northern Bauchi Sharia Court ordered Mubarak Ibrahim retroactively punished with 20 lashes and a fine of 5,000 naira (about $30) for violating the recently enacted Same-Sex Prohibition Act [R3.4].
On 17 September 2012, Senior Magistrate, Nafisatu Buba, sentenced Bestwood Chukwuemeka, a 28 year-old actor, resident of Gidan Mangoro, to a three-month term of imprisonment without an option of fine, for having consexual gay sex with another man [R3.3].
In April 2008, in sentencing two women in Kaduna, Nigeria to six months in prison and 20 lashes each for having a lesbian relationship, the Sharia court said that Malama Hauwa and Hajiya Ai’sha were violating the tenets of Islam and the teachings of Sharia law [R3.2].
In 2004, the Upper Sharia Court of Bauchi State in northern Nigeria quashed Jubrin Babaji’s sentence of death by stoning for “sodomy” on appeal [R3.1].