12 men were arrested for holding a ‘gay wedding’ in Nigeria yesterday (26 January).
Fariq Maidguri, 18, and Abba Mohammed, 25, who was not caught, are accused of attempting to hold a ceremony for their relationship.
The suspects, most of them teenagers, were arrested by the Islamic state police Hisbah on the outskirts on the northern city of Kano.
In the northern Nigerian states, under Sharia law, homosexuality is punishable by death.
‘We have 12 men in custody, including the bride. We arrested them at the venue of a planned gay wedding,’ Hisbah head Aminu Daurawa told AFP.
‘We got information of the wedding four days earlier and our men stormed the venue while the wedding was about to start.’
Adding to the press at a briefing, Daurawa said: ‘As you can see from their appearance and the way they looked, there is every element of homosexuality in them.’
Many guests were able to escape, including Mohammed.
Maiduguri said he and his friends were only celebrating his birthday, not a gay wedding.
He said: ‘I don’t know what they are talking about. I was celebrating my birthday before the Hisbah people came to the venue and arrested all of us. They accused me of planning a gay marriage but I told them I didn’t know what they were talking about.’
All of the suspects remain in custody with charges about to be brought against them.