Report: Pictures of Nigerian “gay” man beaten to death are fake


This picture is now believed to be unrelated to the attack

It’s been claimed that pictures first linked to the deadly beating of a Nigerian man for being gay are not related to the attack.

It was reported this week that Akinnifesi Olumide Olubunmi was severely assaulted on 17 February by a group of youths in Ondo West after being accused of having an affair with a local councillor.

Olubunmi, who was said to be married with three children, was apparently taken to hospital but passed away the following day from internal injuries.

Photos posted online that were believed to have been taken following the attack, showed a man covered in blood being treated by nurses in hospital. There was also a picture of a funeral.

According to Erasing 76 Crimes, however, the photos are all images published one to four years earlier in unrelated contexts.

Despite this, the report of the murder, while still not officially confirmed by the authorities, may have some basis in fact.

In an open letter to Olusegun Mimiko, Governor of Ondo State, Steve Aborisade, Executive Coordinator of the Nigerian human rights organisation Projekthope, wrote:

“Information is hazy with no definite corroboration. However, several individuals have ascribed to the plausibility of the narrative citing several eye witnesses.

“Earlier today, I was in touch with one of your senior aides who confirmed to me that your government is already investigating this incident. I thank you sir, for this prompt response, as we await the outcome of your investigation.”

Aborisade noted that, “the manner of this young man’s death has sent shock waves across the world regarding the texture of our humanity, the value we attach to life, and the nature of our society and of ourselves as a people.”

He called on the governor to make sure that the killers are urgently brought to book.

“Your Excellency, the world looks up to you, Nigerians are looking up to you, the people of Ondo looks up to you. Please show the whole world that Nigerians are better than this, show the whole world that Ondo people are not what these criminals are projecting them to be,” said Aborisade.

The councillor said to have been involved with Olubunmi is reported to have fled the area, fearing for his life, after his home was set on fire. The man’s name has been reported but Mambaonline has chosen not to publish this.

Nigeria – the most populous country in Africa – has some of the most repressive anti-LGBT legislation in the world and anyone found guilty of engaging in homosexual acts can be jailed for 14 years.

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