Gay suspects arrested by the Police in Delta State.
Police in Delta State, South-south Nigeria, on Tuesday, paraded scores of young men and women suspected to be gay and lesbians.
The suspects were arrested at a same-sex marriage ceremony in the state Premium Times reports.
The paper had earlier quoted the police as saying that over 100 gay suspects were arrested during the ceremony.
But the police spokesperson in the state, Bright Edafe, while briefing reporters in Asaba, put the number of those arrested at 67.
Edafe, a deputy superintendent of police, said police operatives had intercepted a cross-dresser who confessed that he was a member of a gay club and was on his way to attend a gay marriage ceremony.
He led the operatives to the venue of the ceremony at Teebolus Hotel, off Refinery Road, Ekpan in Warri.
The marriage ceremony, according to the police, was for a gay couple – Daniel Pius (groom) and 22-year-old Maxwel Ohwonohwo (bride).
“As the operatives arrived at the hotel, the gay members immediately took to flight, scampering in different directions. The policemen chased and arrested 67 suspects, both male and female,” Edafe said.
He said a suspect, 23-year-old Abel Daniel, admitted that, under the influence of alcohol, he had sex through his anus with a male suspect who is at large.
“The police recovered tramadol, other hard drugs, and gay marriage ceremonial dresses at the scene,” Edafe said.
“The suspects and exhibits are in custody and efforts are intensified to ensure the arrest of the fleeing members for possible prosecution.
The Commissioner of Police, Wale Abass, states unequivocally that Delta State is no place for any sort of same-sex relationship; that marriage is valid only when it is contracted between a man and a woman.
He further warns that explicit or implicit public show of amorous relationships between people of the same sex is prohibited in the state and that deviants would be brought to book in accordance with Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013.”
Homosexual relationships are illegal in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s anti-gay law, enacted in January 2014 by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, stipulates a 14-year prison term for anyone convicted of having sex with members of the same sex.
The Nigerian government put the law to the test for the first time in December 2019 when 47 men arrested by the police in a hotel in Lagos the previous year were arraigned in court, accused of publicly displaying affection for members of the same sex.
All 47 men pleaded not guilty and were granted bail by the court. A federal judge later struck out the charges against the men because of a “lack of diligent prosecution” by the police. – PT
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