Nigeria’s first trial based on the anti-homosexuality laws commences

Nigeria’s first trial based on the anti-homosexuality laws commences

Forty-seven men went on trial in on Wednesday (December 11) for public displays of affection with members of the same sex, an offence that carries a 14-year jail term in Nigeria.

The men were among the 57 arrested in a police raid in a hotel in the impoverished Egbeda district of Lagos back in 2018. They pleaded not guilty at a hearing last month.

Campaigners say the case is an important test of a law banning gay marriage and same-sex “amorous relationships”, which came into force five years ago. Xeenarh Mohammed, the executive director of The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs), said the law had historically been used to harass and blackmail gay people but there had not been any convictions.

“People have been detained, men and women, at different gatherings but no cases had ever gone before a judge. We have to establish that people have a right to meet that shouldn’t be a crime under any law in any country,” said Mohammed.

The police have said that the arrested men were being initiated into a gay club. The accused say they were attending a birthday party.

The Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which banned gay relationships and entrenched intolerance of sexual minorities in Nigerian society, was signed by Goodluck Jonathan, then president, in January 2014. The law caused an international outcry, with condemnation from global human rights organisation and western governments. Human Rights Watch called it a “sweeping and dangerous piece of legislation”.

“Police officers will stop you and then get you arrested, extort money from you and begin to call you names,” Smart Joel, 25, one of the defendants, said before last month’s hearing. “I just wish the case will be quickly dismissed as soon as possible.”

Two days of hearings have been scheduled this week to allow the prosecution to make its case. The trial is likely to last for several months.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Previous Porn star Jarec Wentworth released early from prison after extorting Republican millionaire

About author

You might also like

The Happenings 11 Comments

Moonlight stars Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome win Best Kiss at MTV Movie Awards

“This award is bigger than Jharrel and I. This represents more than a kiss. This is for those who feel like the others, the misfits — this represents us.” Those

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
The Happenings 27 Comments

Denrele Says He’ll Divorce His Wife if She Tries To Change Him

Last year, TV personality Denrele Edun talked about the imminence of his getting married, and by so doing, had fans anticipating the D-day. Fast-forward to 2016, and fans haven’t heard

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
The Happenings 49 Comments

Older Man Fears His Attraction To Twinks Is “Disgusting”

Society doesn’t so much as bat an eye when a man — say in his 30s — shows interest in a woman in her early to mid 20s. It’s almost

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Mitch
    December 13, 07:38 Reply

    Based on how messed up this country’s judicial process is, the extension of the executive into the judiciary and all the attendant nonsense we see per time, it’s safe to say that I have no illusions of this case going the way of common Sense or even within the provisions of the law. I just feel it’s going to be another Bash-The-Gays fest for them.

  2. Mandy
    December 13, 08:55 Reply

    Like play like play, an arrest that was conducted under false reasons has become a fight for freedom. God please, into Your hands I commit these guys. However long this trial takes, may it end in truth. 🙏

    • Yazz
      December 13, 10:12 Reply

      Be careful what you wish for

  3. Malik
    December 13, 10:34 Reply

    Maybe this would be our Stonewall moment. Maybe we’ll get justice or the spur we need to grab it ourselves.

  4. Dunder
    December 13, 19:17 Reply

    If we had a near-decent education system in Nigeria, the question on everyone’s lips would be “what the hell is a gay club and why would there be an initiation party”? but because schooled idiots have heard “a gay” and think they know what initiation is from Nollywood, they are ready to ruin innocent lives forgetting that other people are ruining their own lives in Abuja and the 36 state capitals. This is a country where military officers kill policemen, policemen kill civilians and those lucky enough not to get killed are extorted and their lives interrupted in the name of a headless court case. The public hears that the police that victimizes them is victimising others and they are pleased their children can be safe while they pursue their emigration strategy to Canada, the land of the gays. I just wish these boys strength and luck while Nigeria continues to take from those it has given nothing good.

Leave a Reply