Anti-LGBTI laws: Nigeria

Nigeria's location in Africa

Nigeria’s location in Africa

Under the Criminal Code of 1990, Nigeria provides for a 14-year prison sentence for homosexual acts involving either men or women. In addition, the misleadingly named Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, passed in 2013 and enacted in 2014, provides for prison sentences of 10 years for Nigerians belonging to a gay organization, supporting same-sex marriages, or displaying same-sex affection in public. It also calls for up to 14 years in prison for any Nigerian who marries a member of the same sex.

In 12 Nigerian states in the north, sharia law also applies. For homosexual activity, that law provides for capital punishment for men, lashing or imprisonment for women. However, no actual executions for homosexual activity have been verified.

This is the language of  Chapter 77 of the Criminal Code Act of 1990, as reported by ILGA (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association):

Section 214. “Any person who

(1) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or

(2) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(3) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature;

is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

Section 215. “Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences defined in the last preceding section is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.”

Section 217. “Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.”

The text of the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act is available online.

States that have adopted sharia law are Bauchi (in the year 2001), Borno (2000), Gombe (2001), Jigawa (2000), Kaduna (2001), Kano (2000), Katsina (2000), Kebbi (2000), Niger (2000), Sokoto (2000), Yobe (2001) and Zamfara (2000).

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