Nigeria: Police to Arrest Nigerians Featured in Online LGBTQ Video Challenge

The police said the actions of the people were unnatural and punishable under the Nigerian law

The Nigerian police have ordered the arrest of some people who claimed to belong to the Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, in a video clip they featured.

Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the spokesperson of the Force headquarters, gave the order in a statement posted on X on Thursday.

PREMIUM TIMES, Wednesday, reported that the police said they were investigating the viral video after Mr Adejobi’s attention was drawn to it by an X user.

In the 50-second video, four males and three females said to be participating in an online LGBTQ challenge, confessed to being bisexual, lesbian, transgender and gay.

Mr Adejobi, an assistant commissioner of police, while responding to the video, had described the people featured in it as “criminals”. He added that their actions were punishable under the Nigerian law.

In the statement on Thursday, the force spokesperson described the offences as “unnatural” adding it was illegal under the country’s law.

“In accordance with the Nigerian Criminal Code Act applicable in Southern States, unnatural offences are prohibited under Sections 214 to 217.

“These sections specifically criminalise acts considered unnatural, such as having carnal knowledge of a person, or permitting a person to have carnal knowledge of one against the order of nature, or having carnal knowledge of an animal, and those found guilty may face legal consequences as outlined by the law.

“This is re-echoed by Section 284 of the Nigerian Penal Code applicable in the Northern part of the country.

“Similarly, it is imperative to note that same-sex marriage is strictly prohibited in Nigeria. The Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act of 2014 criminalises the solemnisation, operation, and public display of same-sex marriages.

“We, therefore, emphasise the importance of understanding and adhering to these laws as any violation will be met with due legal processes. We need to collectively kick against such while we urge parents and guardians to take note and support the Police in the fight against such inhuman activities which are alien to our culture and also punishable under the law,” he said.

Nigeria’s anti-gay law as enacted in 2014 stipulates a 14-year prison term for anyone convicted of having sex with members of the same sex.

The law was first put to test in December 2019 when 47 men arrested by the police in a hotel in Lagos the previous year were arraigned in court over allegations of publicly displaying affection for members of the same sex.

The suspects all pleaded not guilty and were granted bail but the case was later struck out by a federal judge for “lack of diligence prosecution” by the police.

PREMIUM TIMES last year reported how the police arrested over 100 gay suspects in a hotel in Delta State while participating in a gay wedding.

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