Nigerian Woman

11 women have reportedly been arrested in the northern Nigerian city of Kano for allegedly planning a lesbian wedding.

According to reports by AFP, the women where arrested by local ‘Morality police’ (Hisbah) who are responsible for upholding and enforcing Islamic law in the nation.

The women who were arrested following a tip-off from a member of the public were reportedly making the last minute plans for the wedding.

Speaking about the arrests, Abba Sufi who is the Director-General of Hisbah explained that, “As soon as the investigation is concluded they will be charged.”

“We can’t allow such despicable acts to find roots in our society. Both Islam and Nigerian laws prohibit same-sex relationships.”

According to the BBC, the women who remain in custody and are being charged under the state of Kano’s Sharia religious law, (which only applies to Muslim citizens), are denying the claims, and say that they are simply members of a dance club and were merely planning a party.

Nigerian State Police
Nigerian State Police

The maximum punishment for homosexuality in the twelve northern states in Nigeria that have adopted Sharia law is death by stoning, though, fortunately, this punishment is almost never enforced.

Anti-LGBTI legislation is also enforced across Nigeria as a whole, including a 2014 law which prohibits same-sex marriages and relationships with a penalty of up to 14 years in prison.

The law also states that individuals can receive up to 10 years in prison for public displays of same-sex affection as well as membership or support of LGBTI groups.