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Six people sentenced to death by Nigerian courts

Ishaq Khalid BBC News, Abuja

Six people have been sentenced to death in Nigeria in two separate cases.

In the mainly Muslim state of Bauchi, an upper Sharia court sentenced three men to death by stoning after they were found guilty of homosexual acts against children.

A court official told the BBC those convicted included two young men and another in his 70s.

The judgement was passed on Wednesday in the town of Ningi but details are just emerging.

During the hearing the men had no legal representation and pleaded guilty. They do have the right to appeal against the judgement within one month.

The local commander of the Islamic police, a force known as the Hisbah, told the BBC the men were arrested in May in the village of Wada after they were accused of abusing two boys whom they had lured with dates and coconuts.

Bauchi is among around a dozen states in northern Nigeria where Sharia is practised along with the country’s secular laws.

In the second case in neighbouring Plateau state, a secular court on Thursday sentenced three men to death by hanging or lethal injection.

They had been convicted of stabbing a young man to death during a dispute among people celebrating Christmas in 2015.

The lawyer for the convicted men told the BBC they planned to appeal.

Death sentences are rarely carried out in Nigeria. Instead, those on death row are usually detained in prison indefinitely.

For a condemned person to be executed in Nigeria, the death penalty must be approved by the governor of the state where it is handed down.

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