Nigerian Nollywood star Yul Edochie took to Instagram yesterday to protest the stoning sentence imposed on three Nigerian men for gay sex acts.
An Islamic sharia court in the northern Nigerian state of Bauchi sentenced the men to death by stoning in June. Despite Nigeria’s secular constitution, the government allows sharia courts in the predominantly Muslim north to impose sentences for ‘crimes’ ranging from adultery to blasphemy.
Nigeria punishes gay sex acts with lengthy prison sentences. But in the north, gays also risk brutal execution.
The right of sharia courts to impose punishments is currently under challenge. A 22-year-old singer sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2020 has asked a court to declare the sharia penal code unconstitutional. However, few believe the government will risk antagonising Muslim religious leaders by closing the Islamic courts.
In May, Nigeria experienced its first-ever queer protest. A group of brave young activists took to the street against a proposed ‘Cross Dressers bill’.
Stoning sentence for 3 gay men
Islamic police arrested Abdullahi Abubakar Beti (30), Kamilu Ya’u (20) and Malam Haruna (70) on June 14 and charged them with homosexual acts.
After hearing witness statements and admissions of guilt, the sharia judge sentenced all three to death by stoning. The men had no legal representation but are allowed 30 days to appeal. If they prove unsuccessful, the state governor must then approve the sentence.
Nollywood star Yul Edochie: Totally wrong!
Yesterday, Nollywood star Yul Edochie spoke out forcefully against the stoning sentence.
“Stoning a man to death because he is Gay is wrong!
“I am not Gay. I don’t plan to be. But Gay people have human beings too and should have rights.
“I heard the judgement was passed in Bauchi. How can you kill a human being because he is Gay.
“Condemn him if he engages in criminal activities. Condemn him if he’s a rapist.
“If not, leave judgement to God.”
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