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 presented.
Olumuyiwa Adejobi, spokesperson for the Force Headquarters, gave the order in a statement released on Thursday.
PREMIUM TIMES, on Wednesday, reported that police said they were investigating the viral video after an X user caught the attention of Mr. Adejobi.
In the 50-second video, four men and three women participating in an online LGBTQ challenge confessed to being bisexual, lesbian, transgender and gay.
Adejobi, Deputy Commissioner of Police, while responding to the video, described the people in it as “criminals”. He added that his actions were punishable under Nigerian law.
In Thursday’s statement, the force’s spokesperson described the crimes as “unnatural” and added that they were illegal under the country’s law.
“In accordance with the Nigerian Penal Code Act applicable in the southern states, unnatural offenses are prohibited under sections 214 to 217.
“These sections specifically criminalize acts considered unnatural, such as having carnal knowledge of a person, or allowing a person to have carnal knowledge of another against the order of nature, or having carnal knowledge of an animal, and those found guilty may face legal consequences. as established by law.
“This is reflected in 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 2014 criminalizes the solemnisation, celebration and public display of same-sex marriages.
“We therefore emphasize the importance of understanding and complying with these laws, as any violation will be met with due legal processes. We need to collectively fight this and urge parents and guardians to take note and support the police in fighting inhumane activities that are alien to our culture and also punishable by law,” he said.
Nigeria’s anti-gay law, enacted in 2014, stipulates a 14-year prison sentence for anyone convicted of having sexual relations with members of the same sex.
The law was first tested in December 2019, when 47 men arrested by police at a Lagos hotel the previous year were arraigned in court on accusations of publicly displaying affection for members of the same sex.
All of the suspects pleaded not guilty and were granted bail, but the case was later dismissed by a federal judge for “lack of procedural diligence” on the part of the police.
PREMIUM TIMES reported last year how police arrested more than 100 gay suspects at a hotel in Delta State while they were participating in a gay wedding.