In a Rustin Times news article dated 20th of December 2018, it was reported that The Kano Hisbah Corps, a religious police force in Kano state, Nigeria responsible for the enforcement of Sharia Law arrested 11 women for allegedly organizing a same-sex marriage in Sabon Gari area of Fagge Local Government Area.
However, in a report dated 19th January by the BBC Pidgin, 2 of the women arrested have now been released by the Kano Hisbah.
The court trial was carried out secretly to prevent persons from interfering.
“Few of the friends who witnessed the wedding are still held in prison for inability to pay fine,” Isa Sani, Assistant Commander General of the Hisbah told the BBC. “The women could not be charged with gay marriage since the arrest was done before the marriage could take place.”
“They were charged under the Immoral Act Law, fined and issued a warning,” Isa Sani added.
An anonymous source who spoke to the BBC confirmed this and added that the fine charged was fifty thousand naira (137.74 US Dollars) and 4 of the women who could not afford the fine are still being held in prison.
On January 7th 2014, former president Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same-Sex Prohibition Act (SSMPA) into law. According to the SSMPA, “persons who enter into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years in prison. Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations or directly or indirectly makes a public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison.”