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NIGERIA

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Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MARRIAGE]
1.

National

On 13 January 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same-Sex Prohibition Act into law making same-sex marriage and relationships unlawful with penalties of up to 14 years in prison [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

In April 2008, two women in Kaduna, Nigeria were sentenced to six months in prison and 20 lashes each for having a lesbian relationship, the Sharia court said that Malama Hauwa and Hajiya Ai'sha were violating the tenets of Islam and the teachings of Sharia law [R2.1].

R1.1 Reuters US: Nigerian leader signs anti-gay law, drawing U.S. fire 13 JAN 14
R2.1 PinkNews: Nigerian Sharia Court Punishes Lesbian Couple 11 APR 08
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 13 January 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same-Sex Marriager (Prohibition) Act into law making same-sex marriage and relationships unlawful with penalties of up to 14 years in prison [R1.4].

In January 2007, proposed legislation which would criminalize same-sex unions and GLBTI organisations, was been expanded to include people who celebrate or support. It would also ban the recognition of same-sex unions that took place in countries where they are legal. same-sex unions. [R1.3].

The passing of the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2006 " … into Nigerian law was effectively derailed by international and local outrage, including opposition by local groups such as the House of Rainbow (MCC-Nigeria), Global Rights Nigeria and the International Centre for Sexual Rights and Education (INCRESE) … " [R1.2].

In April 2006, proposed legislation to criminalize same-sex unions and GLBTI organisations, was expanded to include people who celebrate or support same-sex unions, imposing five years imprisonment for "those who violate the proposed law, including those who witness, celebrate with or support couples involved in [a] homosexual relationship" [R1.1].

R1.4 Reuters US: Nigerian leader signs anti-gay law, drawing U.S. fire 13 JAN 14
R1.3 MCV: Nigeria Toughens Anti-Gay Stance 25 JAN 07
R1.2 MCV: Homoglobia: Outlawed No 374 06 MAR 08, page 10
R1.1 MCV: Nigeria Tightens Gay Ban 21 APR 06
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

The law in Nigeria prohibits consensual sex between male same-sex couples. Consensual sex between lesbians is not mentioned [R1.6].

Under Nigerian Law, sex between men is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Under Islamic Sharia law, which governs parts of Nigeria, the penalty for homosexual sex is death by stoning [R1.6].


On 13 January 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same-Sex Prohibition Act into law making same-sex marriage and relationships unlawful with penalties of up to 14 years in prison [R1.5].

On 28 March 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan was reported to have pardoned Bello Magaji, a former military officer who was sentenced for sodomizing four teen boys [R1.4].


In August 2007, eighteen Nigerian men were arrested at a hotel and charged with sodomy following gay marriage celebrations in Bauchi. Sharia law, which operates in the Islamic Bauchi State means the men could face death by stoning if found guilty [R1.3].


In July 2006, "sexual deviancy" law was amended stating that sodomy is "any act involving contact between two males that would be regarded by a reasonable person as an indecent act", making it a criminal offense for two people of the same sex to hold hands, hug, or kiss [R1.2].


In April 2006, proposed legislation to criminalize same-sex unions and GLBTI organisations, was expanded to include people who celebrate or support same-sex unions and resulting in far-reaching consequences not only for gays and lesbians, but anyone who freely associates with them [R1.1].


Since 2000, over a dozen Nigerians have been sentenced to death for sexual offences including homosexuality and adultery since Sharia law was introduced in northern Nigeria, though most sentences were commuted to prison terms [R1.2].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 06 March 2014, an Islamic court in Bauchi city reportedly sentenced four men aged between 20 and 22 to 15 strokes of the whip on the buttocks and a year's imprisonment if they cannot pay a fine of $120 [R2.5].

On 16 January 2014, it was reported that Judge Nuhu Mohammed in the northern Bauchi Sharia Court ordered Mubarak Ibrahim retroactively punished with 20 lashes and a fine of 5,000 naira (about $30) for violating the recently enacted Same-Sex Prohibition Act [R2.4].

On 17 September 2012, Senior Magistrate, Nafisatu Buba, sentenced Bestwood Chukwuemeka, a 28 year-old actor, resident of Gidan Mangoro, to a three-month term of imprisonment without an option of fine, for having consexual gay sex with another man [R2.3].

In April 2008, in sentencing two women in Kaduna, Nigeria to six months in prison and 20 lashes each for having a lesbian relationship, the Sharia court said that Malama Hauwa and Hajiya Ai'sha were violating the tenets of Islam and the teachings of Sharia law [R2.2].

In 2004, the Upper Sharia Court of Bauchi State in northern Nigeria quashed Jubrin Babaji's sentence of death by stoning for "sodomy" on appeal [R2.1].

R1.7 ILGA: Legal Status of Homosexuality 1996
R1.6 MCV: Homoglobia: Outlawed No 374 06 MAR 08, page 10
R1.5 Reuters US: Nigerian leader signs anti-gay law, drawing U.S. fire 13 JAN 14
R1.4 GayStarNews: Nigerian president pardons 'gay' man jailed for sodomy 28 MAR 13
R1.3 MCV: Nigerian Marriage Raid 16 AUG 07
R1.2 365Gay.com: Same-Sex Handholding Now Illegal in Zimbabwe 17 JUL 06
R1.1 MCV: Nigeria Tightens Gay Ban 21 APR 06
R2.5 Aljazerra: Nigeria court orders men whipped for gay sex 06 MAR 14
R2.4 TheAdvocate: Nigerian Beaten for Sex With a Man 7 Years Ago 16 JAN 14
R2.3 GayStarNews: Nigeria gives man three months jail for gay sex 18 SEP 12
R2.2 PinkNews: Nigerian Sharia Court Punishes Lesbian Couple 11 APR 08
R2.1 Amnesty International: Nigeria: Another sentence to death by stoning under new Sharia penal law quashed on appeal 25 MAR 04

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Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 13 January 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act into law making same-sex marriage and relationships unlawful with penalties of up to 14 years in prison [R1.13].

On 17 December 2013, the National Assembly conference committee on the Same-Sex Bill - stipulating that only marriage contracted between a man and a woman either under Islamic Law, Customary Law or the Marriage Act is recognised as valid - ratified the recommendation of 14-year jail term for offenders, calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately sign the harmonized bill into law when finally passed both chambers [R1.12].

On 28 July 2013, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ogbole Amedu Ode denied a 22 July 2013 report that Minister of Foreign Affairs Olugbenga Ashiru had said that Nigeria would accept gay diplomats and their “spouses” posted to the country [R1.11].

On 22 July 2013, Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Olugbenga Ashiru said in London that Nigeria will allow foreign diplomats married to people of the same sex into the country despite its ban on same-sex marriage and homosexuality [R1.10].

On 30 May 2013, the House of Representatives passed a Bill adopted by the Senate in 2011 making same-sex marriage unlawful and setting jail terms of up to 14 years for offenders. The bill also envisages prison sentences up to 10 years for anyone who participates in gay clubs or organisations [R1.9].

On 13 November 2012, the House of Representatives supported the Senate Bill to outlaw same-sex marriage. A motion that the Bill be referred to the Committee of Whole was unanimously adopted by members through a voice vote [R1.8].

On 29 November 2011, the Senate passed an amended Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2011, that imposes an increased 14-year jail term for marrying a person of the same sex. It also criminalizes witnessing of such marriages, affection expressed publicly between members of the same sex, and a ban on the existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations. The legislation must be passed by the House of Representatives and signed by President Goodluck Jonathan before it becomes law [L1.7], [R1.6].

In October 2011, the Senate reportedly approved bill SB 05 Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2011 that would see people jailed for three years for marrying a person of the same sex. Anyone who witnessed, abetted or aided in the solemnisation of a same-sex marriage could receive up to five years in prison [L1.5], [R1.4].

In January 2009, Nigeria's House of Representatives voted unanimously to ban same-sex marriage [R1.3].

In 2008, HB 150 the Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2008: An Act to Prohibit Marriage between persons of same gender, solemnization of same and for other matters related therwith eas introduced to the Parliament [L1.2].

Previously:

In January 2007, a bill banning same-sex marriage was being debated in the parliament, the sub-clauses of which would ban membership of a gay or lesbian group, and advocating gay and lesbian equality, hosting or visiting a gay website, renting or selling a property to a same-sex couple, taking or possessing photos of a gay or lesbian couple, and even expressions of same-sex love in letters or emails. Violations would be punished with an automatic five-year jail sentence [R1.1].

The 1990 Marriage Act refers to marriage as being between a man and a wife (Section 27) as does the First Schedule of the Matrimonial Causes Act [R1.0].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 25 September 2015, it was reported that the expected ruling in the Same-sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act case had been postponed for a second time, re-scheduled from 25 September to the 21st of October, 2014 [R2.4].

On 08 April 2014, it was reported that Justice Abdul Kafarati in the Federal High Court had set 28 April for the hearing the challenge to the constitutionality of the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013, filed by Teriah Joseph Ebah on 13 March [C2.3], [R2.2].

On 21 March 2014, a lawsuit was reportedly filed (17 March 2014) on behalf of UK based Nigerian, Teriah Joseph Ebah before Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court Abuja seeking an injunctive order restraining the Federal Government from further enforcing the provisions of the Same-sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act and its declaration as "unconstitutional, null and void" [R2.1].

.
R1.13 Reuters US: Nigerian leader signs anti-gay law, drawing U.S. fire 13 JAN 14
R1.12 Afrique en ligne: Same-Sex marriage prohibition law in Nigeria 18 DEC 13
R1.11 GayStarNews: Nigeria does about-face on gay married diplomats 29 JUL 13
R1.10 GayStarNews: Nigeria will allow foreign diplomats who are same-sex married to serve 23 JUL 13
R1.9 BBC News | Africa: Nigerian parliament bans same-sex marriage 30 MAY 13
R1.8 Nigerian Tribune: Reps support senate to outlaw same-sex marriage 13 NOV 12
L1.7 The Senate: SB.05: Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, 2011 PDF 670.20kb, 05 DEC 11
R1.6 Reuters Africa: Nigeria's Senate passes controversial anti-gay bill 29 NOV 11
L1.5 The Senate: Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2011 PDF 47.48kb,
R1.4 StarOnline: Nigerian prison bill approved 10 OCT 11
R1.3 MCV: Nigerian MPs Ban Gay Marriage 22 JAN 09
L1.2 House of Representatives: HB 150 Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill PDF 18.71kb, 22 DEC 08
R1.1 MCV: Nigeria Toughens Anti-Gay Stance 25 JAN 07
R1.0 Nigeria Law: Marriage Act Chapter 218 (Accessed 11 JUN 13)
Nigeria Law: Matrimonial Causes Act (Accessed 11 JUN 13)
Courts & Tribunals
R2.4 NigerianBulletin: Anti-Gay Law Repeal: Ruling Postponed Until October 21 25 SEP 14
C2.3 Ebah Joseph Teriah v. Federal Government of Nigeria No. FHC/ABJ/CS/197/2014, 13 MAR 14
R2.2 AllAfrica: Nigeria: Same Sex Marriage Suit - Court Fixes April 28 for Hearing 08 APR 14
R2.1 Vanguard: UK based Nigerian asks court to declare same-sex marriage law unconstitutional, null and void 21 MAR 14
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [CUSTODY] [FOSTERING] [PARTNERS]
1.

National

Under the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2006 adoption of children by persons of the same sex would be specifically prohibited.

The passing of the Bill " … into Nigerian law was effectively derailed by international and local outrage, including opposition by local groups such as the House of Rainbow (MCC-Nigeria), Global Rights Nigeria and the International Centre for Sexual Rights and Education (INCRESE) … " [R1.1].

R1.1 MCV: Homoglobia: Outlawed No 374 06 MAR 08, page 10

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