3 October 2013

Nigeria: Two Men Charged With Homosexuality in Jos

Two men, Emeka Eze, 35, and Jonathan Akatin, 22, were on Thursday arraigned in an Upper Area Court, Jos, and charged with homosexual behaviour.

Messrs. Eze and Akatin, who reside in Alheri, Jos, were arraigned on a one-count charge.

The prosecutor, Gokwat Ibrahim, told the court that the accused committed the offence at 10 p.m. on September 7.

Mr. Ibrahim said the accused were arrested by the police following a tip-off by their neighbours, who alleged that they had been engaging in homosexuality.

"The accused have been committing the offence in their compound publicly, which is against the order of nature. During police investigation, the suspects confessed to the crime," he said.

The prosecutor said that the accused, by their behaviour, committed an offence contrary to Section 284 of the Penal Code.

Mr. Ibrahim urged the court to give the accused a summary trial due to their confessional statement.

"The court should rely on Section 157 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) that stipulates quick judgment for anybody who confesses to his or her crime," the prosecutor said.

He, however, said that the sentence should be reserved pending the conclusion of police investigation into the matter.

When the case came up for hearing, the accused pleaded guilty to the charge and begged the court for leniency. They said that they did not know that it was an offence to indulge in homosexuality.

The Presiding Officer, Mustapha Hassan, ordered that the accused be remanded in prison; and adjourned the case to October 10 for hearing.


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