Nigeria: 4 men appear in Islamic court on sodomy charges

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Four men have appeared in an Islamic court charged with committing same-sex sexual activity in northern Nigeria.

The Punch reports the men were arrested in Gumau Town, Bauchi, on 8 May.

Prosecutor Abubakar Garba said the men were charged with breaking Section 126 and 133 of Bauchi’s Sharia penal code regarding sodomy.

Three of the men pleaded guilty, however a fourth man pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Proceedings were adjourned until 26 June.

Predominantly Muslim states in Nigeria introduced Sharia law, a legal system based on Islamic theory and philosophy of justice, in 2000.

It sanctions severe physical penalties for violating its code.

In January, a man received 20 lashes after an Islamic court in  Bauchi convicted him of breaking laws against same-sex activity.

The trial of several men had to be halted in the same month after a violent mob began throwing stones at the defendants.

Nigeria strengthened laws against same-sex sexual activity at the start of the year by banning same-sex marriages, gay groups and shows of same-sex public affection.