Nigerian police raid gay wedding, arrest 67 people

Amnesty International’s Nigeria office condemned the arrests

NIGERIA-GAYMARRIAGE/ Some of the men charged with public displays of affection with members of the same sex are seen gathered outside a court in Lagos, Nigeria October 27, 2020 | Reuters

The Nigerian police arrested at least 67 people after it raided a supposedly 'gay wedding'. The tipoff about the ceremony came during police interrogation on August 27 of a male cross-dresser, who was dressed as a female, Delta police spokesman Edafe Bright said in a statement late on Tuesday, a Reuters report said. 

At least 200 people were said to be attending the event and 67 of them were being investigated. Homosexuals in Nigeria can face up to 14 years in prison under the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. The law came into force under former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014. 

Amnesty International’s Nigeria office condemned the arrests and called for “an immediate end to this witch-hunt.”

“In a society where corruption is rampant, this (same-sex) law banning same-sex relationships is increasingly being used for harassment, extortion and blackmail of people,” Isa Sanusi, the organisation’s director in Nigeria, told The Associated Press.

“We are in Africa and we are in Nigeria. We cannot copy the Western world because we don’t have the same culture,” state police spokesman Bright Edafe said. Efforts are underway to arrest those who fled the scene, he added.

One of the arrested had said that he was at the hotel for another engagement and not the wedding. The hotel was thoroughly searched. The latest African nation to criminalise same-sex relations is Uganda.

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