As part of its ‘enforcement’ of Shari’a laws, the Kano state’s para-law enforcement agency, the Hisbah Corps has been instrumental in implementing some of the state’s most confusing directives. It was the jurisdiction of the Hisbah corps to implement the recent ban in the state that forbade people of different sexes from riding in the same tricycles, a rule that was quickly repealed when a photo of Abdullahi Ganduje, the state governor sharing an aisle with a woman in an airplane surfaced and triggered accusations of classism. But mostly, the Hisbah corps has spent its time punishing what it terms ‘sexual deviance’.
This is why the Hisbah Board’s deputy commander-general Shehu Tasi’u Is’haq came forward this week, to confirm reports that it had arrested 15 alleged homosexuals, who were also students of Bayero University Kano last week. According to Is’haq, the suspects were arrested at a party organized by students of the university. The Punch newspapers quotes Is’haq to have said:
We arrested and transferred the erring students to our correctional centre at our Headquarters in Sharada. While at our correctional centre, they will be re-oriented and at the close of the day, they will desist from their waywardness and turn a new leaf.
Islam is opposed to same sex partners, which is a taboo. As an institution, our responsibility is to correct youth, who are going astray, reminding them that devout Muslims forbid homosexual acts, which will not be tolerated.
Reports also suggest that 50 people were at the party where the arrests were made, the arrests made on an intelligence tip and suspects under ‘reorientation’.
What does re-orientation mean?
Is there a transparent process that ensures that these alleged criminals are given a fair trial before they are subjected to any form of re-orientation? Were any of the actions being done to them consented to?
We have so many questions.