Faces blurred by Mambaonline
Nigerian police have raided a hotel and arrested a “gay” couple who were allegedly about to get married.
According to Leadership’s biased and uncritical report, the couple consisted of an individual “who is supposed to be the husband” while the other “posed as the wife.”
On Saturday 6 February, the ceremony was apparently about to start at the King’s Land Hotel in Jiwa, Abuja, with guests already seated, when police burst into the venue.
Officers arrested the hotel owner, the couple, “their sponsors, the chairman of the occasion and other guests in their hundreds awaiting the commencement of the ceremony.”
Police Public Relations Officer, Anjuguri Manza, told Leadership Weekend: “We got information earlier in the day that the two men were organising a gay marriage ceremony in Jiwa community.
“We will charge the suspects to the high court as soon as the appropriate investigations have been concluded on the matter,” he said.
Manza warned that police would continue to arrest “perpetrators of such illegal acts.”
Photos of the alleged couple, who could be jailed if found guilty, in their “wedding” outfits has been published by Nigerian media.
Nigeria – the most populous country in Africa – has some of the most repressive anti-LGBT legislation in the world. A 2014 law prohibits same-sex marriage with a penalty of up to 14 years in prison and stipulates 10 years in jail for public displays of same-sex affection and 10 years for membership or support of LGBT groups.
Under colonial-era legislation, anyone found guilty of engaging in homosexual acts can be jailed for 14 years.
Muslims in twelve northern states in Nigeria also live under Islamic Sharia law, which allows homosexuality to be punished with death by stoning. Although this sentence is rarely carried out, those found guilty have recently most commonly been sentenced to public floggings.