Wednesday, October 13, 2004

2 women to be stoned to death in Nigeria

Two women are to be stoned to death in Nigeria:

Islamic courts in Nigeria sentenced two women to death by stoning for having sex out of wedlock, but two men whom they identified as sexual partners were acquitted for lack of evidence, authorities said Tuesday.

Both sentences, which were imposed within the last month in the northern state of Bauchi, must be confirmed by the state governor before being carried out, and they are open to appeal.

Nobody has been lawfully stoned to death in Nigeria since 12 northern states introduced Islamic law, or Sharia, in 2000, because all such sentences have been overturned on appeal.

A 29-year-old woman, Hajara Ibrahim, was sentenced Oct. 5 in the Tafawa Balewa area of the state, having confessed to having sex with 35-year-old Dauda Sani and becoming pregnant, the court said in a statement.

"The court has, however, handed the woman convict to her guardian to take care of her until she delivers the baby before the sentence will be executed by stoning her to death according to the provisions of the Sharia penal code," the court said.

"There is no evidence to link him with the allegation and consequently the court acquitted him for lack of evidence."

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