Every citizen of Nigeria knows, Being Gay equals 14 years imprisonment.
The Nigerian Police has allegedly arrested 57 men over the weekend, based on suspicious homosexual relations between the said men. Same sex relations is popularly known to be banned in Nigeria in 2014, by Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration.
The Police raided a hotel in the main commercial city of Lagos where dozens of people, mostly men were attending a party. The men were reportedly attending a Birthday party at the Kelly Ann Hotel and Event Centre in Egbeda, Lagos, when Police received a tip-off and stormed the premises around 2am on Sunday (August 26). Since they were in Lagos State, the men will face a jail term rather than death, if convicted.
Imohimi Edgal, the state’s Police commissioner, told the Press:
“On arrival, young men numbering about 80 were met in a hall taking different types of drinks including banned substance like Tramadol [and] Shisha laced with substances suspected to be Marijuana. When the men sighted the police, they took to their heels but the Police arrested 57 of them”
Those arrested have told a different story. One of them, a 25-year-old, said:
“It was a birthday party and majority of us don’t know one another. I was invited by my friend Muyiwa for the party, and we were not only guys in the party, [a] few ladies were with us and other ladies were in the hotel rooms getting dressed for the party.”
He described the scene as the hotel was raided, saying:
“The police just barged in and arrested people; I was outside the hall buying a drink when I was arrested. They also arrested [a] few ladies but they let go of the ladies. The police didn’t allow us know our offence until we reached the police station yesterday. At first, the police told us that they found some illegal drugs with us, such as shisha, tramadol and others, but those that owned [these] came out and claimed possession of [them].”
“They also accused us of being homosexuals. I am not one, I went there to party. They also accused us of being initiated but no initiation material was founded with us or at the venue.”
Another man also said he was at a birthday party at the hotel, while others were seemingly caught up in the chaos.
One said he saw there was a party going on and decided to join in the fun, adding:
“I am not gay and I don’t know any of them, it was when we got to the police station that I got to know that it was a birthday party.”
A 23-year-old who was arrested said he was simply staying at the hotel overnight, on the way back from a pageant he’d attended. He said:
“I was at the reception when the police came and they told me to lie down, which I gladly did since I knew I had not committed any crime … But I was accused of being a gay. All efforts to explain to the police and show them the evidence of my invitation to the pageantry and pictures proved abortive”
Chike Godwin Oti, the Police spokesman in Lagos state, told the BBC that investigations were continuing and the suspects would be charged. Homosexual acts are punishable by up to 14 years in jail in Nigeria – such relationships were first outlawed under colonial rule in 1901, then Laws were tightened in 2014 when gay marriage and displays of same-sex affection were also banned.
Since then the authorities have cracked down on people suspected of homosexuality. However, arrests are infrequent as homosexual people live in hiding.
Source: PinkNews, myjoyonline.