On Monday, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill which criminalizes same-sex relationships. The penalties under the bill include banning same-sex marriage and up to 14 years in prison for same-sex "amorous relationships" as well as membership in LGBT groups.
"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," the bill says.
"Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations or directly or indirectly makes 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.
Hisbah, the Islamic doctrine of keeping everything in order within the laws of Allah, minimized prostitution and drug use in the major Muslim city, and now they are determined to do the same to the LGBT community.
"Obviously, we will embark on similar raids on gays and lesbians in Kano," he added, vowing to work "hand in hand" with security agencies to enforce the national legislation. "From now on, we will go into every nook and corner of Kano state to ensure that (the prohibition of) prostitution, gay marriages, marriages of the same sex and consumption of alcohol... is fully complied with, so that we can have a decent society.
In the last month, the Islamic court in Nigeria's northern state of Bauchi has put on trial 11 Muslim men with accusations of being gay. The Bauchi state has both Shariah law and a Western-style penal code. Shariah is implemented to different degrees in nine of Nigeria's 36 states. Those 11 men accused of being gay face jail time as well as possible death sentence. Under the Islamic law, anyone convicted of being a member of the LGBT community can be sentenced to death by stoning.
Although all 11 men signed confession declaring that they in fact were a part of an LGBT group, Nigerian law enforcers are known for using different types of torture to extract confessions.
Due to the criminalization and torture of gay individuals in Nigeria, UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon's spokesperson released a statement regarding this issue.
"The Secretary-General shares the deep concern expressed yesterday by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, following the recent signing into law of the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act in Nigeria. The law introduces a wide range of offences, in breach of fundamental human rights, including 14-year jail terms for same-sex couples who live together or attempt to solemnize their union with a ceremony. The Secretary-General fears that the law may fuel prejudice and violence, and notes with alarm reports that police in northern Nigeria have arrested individuals believed by the authorities to be homosexuals, and may even have tortured them. As UNAIDS and the Global Fund noted in a statement yesterday, the law also risks obstructing effective responses to HIV/AIDS."
Along with the UN Secretary, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed the deep concern United States had about the severity of this issue.
"Beyond even prohibiting same sex marriage, this law dangerously restricts freedom of assembly ... and expression for all Nigerians," he said.
This law is dangerous to the freedom of LGBT citizens of Nigeria.