18 men charged with sodomy in Nigeria face the possibility of receiving the death sentence.

An Islamic Sharia court in the northern state of Bauchi has ruled that the men must be kept in jail until they stand trial on the charges.

Reports say that the men were arrested at a hotel, dressed in women’s clothes, while celebrating a gay wedding. According to Sharia law, the group, said to be in their late teens and twenties, could received the death sentence and be stoned to death.

Some parts of Nigeria operate under strict Islamic law which outlaws homosexuality and which has seen a number of gays and lesbians reportedly stoned to death.

“If they are found guilty, let them be punished, so that it will serve as a deterrent to those who are intending to do this,” he added. “Because we want to stop this menace completely. We don’t want to hear about this homosexuality in our society,” a spokesman of Bauchi state sharia commission told Afrol News.

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