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Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Nigeria.The maximum punishment in the twelve northern states that have adopted Shari'a law is death by stoning.

Twelve northern states have adopted some form of Shari'a into their criminal statutes: Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.

The Shari'a criminal laws apply to those who voluntarily consent to the jurisdiction of the Shari'a courts and to all Muslims.

In the states of Kano and Katsina, a person commits an act of gross indency "by way of kissing in public, exposure of nakedness in public and other related acts of similar nature in order to corrupt public morals".

In the state of Gombe, a person commits an act of gross indecency by committing "any sexual offence against the normal or usual standards of behaviour".

There is no legal protection against discrimination in Nigeria—a largely conservative country of more than 170 million people, split between a mainly Muslim north and a largely Christian south.

Very few LGBT persons are open about their orientation, and violence against LGBT people is frequent.

Sex acts between men are illegal under the Criminal Code that applies to southern Nigeria and carry a maximum penalty of 14 years' imprisonment.

Sex acts between women are not mentioned specifically in the code, although it is arguable that the gender-neutral term "person" in Section 214 of the code includes women.

In the states of Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara, "any male person who dresses or is attired in the fashion of a woman in a public place or who practises sodomy as a means of livelihood or as a profession" is a vagabond.

In the states of Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara, an "incorrigible vagabond" is "any person who after being convicted as a vagabond commits any of the offences which will render him liable to be convicted as such again".

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