[Deathpenalty]death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Sep 29 23:11:54 CDT 2005
Trial Delayed Again For Gays Facing Death Sentence
In Lagos, an Islamic court judge granted prosecutors an unprecedented 6th
delay in the trial of 2 men accused of having gay sex after another
witness admitted he did not see the act take place.
The men, identified in the local media as Yusuf Kabir, 40, and Usman
Sani,18, will remain in jail, where they have been since mid June, while
the prosecution scrambles to find witnesses. If they are convicted they
would face death by stoning.
Under Sharia law 4 eye-witnesses are required to convict in a sex crime
Police Constable Garba Umar admitted Thursday that he had not seen the
pair having sex, allegedly in a public washroom. He is the second officer
to tell the court that he arrived on the scene after police were called by
Earlier this month the trial was delayed after another police officer said
he did not see the men having sex. Corporal Aliyu Mamman told the court
that he arrived on the scene late.
Thursday Umar said that when he got to the washroom a third officer was
already on the scene and had observed the men engaged in a sexual act when
he peered through a window.
Judge Mustapha Sani Saulawa ordered the case held over until October 19 so
that the prosecution could find the 3rd policeman.
The prosecution said that it was having trouble locating the officer. A
4th witness is also likely to be called at that time the prosecutor told
But, it is growing unlikely that he will be able to produce a total of 4
witnesses to the alleged sex act.
Press reports say that more than a dozen people have been sentenced to
death by stoning but none of the sentences has been carried out. Instead
the convicted men have been languishing in prison and could remain there
for the rest of their lives.
At least 3 men have been sentenced to death by stoning over the past 2
Last month, 22 Democratic members of Congress protested the death
sentences to the Nigerian government.
The letter to Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo focused on one of the
sentences, that of a 50-year-old man accused of having sex with another
man, arrested and brought before a Sharia court.
After being acquitted of the charge for lack of evidence, the man admitted
to the judge, when asked, that he had had sex in the past with men. On
that basis, he was convicted and is now on death row awaiting execution by
As reported by 365Gay.com on July 10, the case came to the attention of
the United Nations by accident.
Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on arbitrary
executions happened to be making a tour of Nigerian prisons when he came
across the man.
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