23 January 2019

Nigeria Not a Place for You, Police Warns Homosexuals

Photo: Elvin Ruiz/Unsplash
(file photo).

A spokesperson of Nigeria police Dolapo Badmus has warned homosexuals in the country that the force will not condone the violation of the Same-Sex Prohibition Act through their activities in the country.

"If you are homosexually inclined, Nigeria is not a place for you. There is a law (Same-Sex Prohibition Act) here that criminalises homosexual clubs, associations and organisations with penalties of up to 15 years in jail," Badmus said in an Instagram post.

"So, if you are a homosexual in nature, leave the country or face prosecution. But before you say, 'does this matter?' Kindly note that anything against the law of the land is criminal and all crimes will be punished accordingly no matter how small you think it is."

Currently, Nigerian law prohibits the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) community.

Violation of the law would land erring persons about 14 years in jail according to the law.

Despite the existence of the Same-Sex Prohibition Act, there had been reported activities of the LGBTQ community in some parts of the country.

Some LGBTQ activists argued that laws restricting and stigmatising them were violations of their human rights to freedom of association.

However, the police spokesperson has warned Nigerians to abide by the law.

"The law says a person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies or organisations, directly or indirectly makes a public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years," Badmus said.

"Anyone convicted of entering into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union faces up to 14 years imprisonment. All LGBT candidates in Nigeria should beware."

She, however, called on Nigerians to provide evidence if anyone is suspected to be a homosexual, saying "Prosecution and conviction of suspects are not based on imagination rather it is based on evidence otherwise it will be treated as hearsay which is not admissible in court."

"Kindly be informed that if you have any evidence or exhibits that can establish the case against him/her, please don't hesitate to bring it up for a comprehensive investigation.

The Same-Sex Marriage prohibition act was signed into law on January 7, 2014, by former president Goodluck Jonathan.

In November 2018, an Abuja federal high court dismissed a suit filed by Nigerian lesbian Pamela Adie seeking to register a lesbian organization in the country.

Pamela Adie sued the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) after her application to register an organization with the name "Lesbian Equality and Empowerment Initiatives" was rejected because it violates an existing law that prohibits same-sex marriage in Nigeria.


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