BAUCHI, Nigeria (Reuters) – Three men found guilty of homosexual conduct after being arrested by police have been stoned to death by a state court implementing Islamic law, the religious police chief of northern Nigeria’s Bauchi state said on Friday.

Muslims are predominant in the states of northern Nigeria, where there are courts of Islamic law, which try accused of crimes ranging from adultery and blasphemy.

Adam Dan Kavey, Hesba police chief in Ningi district, Bauchi state, said the three men were arrested on June 14 and tried on the charges against them in a state Sharia court.

Kafi added that the defendants, one of whom is in his seventies, confessed to their crime, noting that the three had not been represented by their lawyers.

He added that the sentence of stoning the defendants was issued on Thursday, and they have the right to appeal it within 30 days.

Any judgment rendered by the Islamic Sharia courts in Nigeria needs to be approved by the governor of the state in which the court is located in order for it to enter into force.

Like most parts of Africa, homosexual behavior is generally unacceptable in Nigeria.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has laws that punish those convicted of public expression of homosexual behavior with long prison terms.

Last month, a Nigerian singer asked the Court of Appeal to unconstitutional ruling Islamic law in another state in the north of the country. A verdict is expected before October.

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