Nigeria | Police spokesperson tells gays to leave the country

Dolapo Badmus (Pic: Facebook)

A senior police official in Nigeria has been accused of inciting violence after she warned gay people to leave the country or face the wrath of the law.

Dolapo Badmos, who is the Public Relations Officer for the Zone 2 Police Command in Lagos, wrote on Instagram that, “If you are homosexually inclined, Nigeria is not a place for you.”

“There is a law (Same Sex Prohibition Act) here that criminalizes homosexual clubs, associations and organisations with penalties of up to 15 years in jail,” said the high ranking officer.

“So, if you are homosexual in nature, leave the country or face prosecution. But before you say, ‘does these matter?’ Kindly note that anything against the law of the land is criminal and all crimes will be punished accordingly no matter how small you think it is.”

She continued: The law says, “A person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies or organizations, directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years.”

“Anyone convicted of entering into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union faces up to 14 years imprisonment. All LGBT candidates in Nigeria should beware,” added Badmos.

She later went on to urge members of the public who have evidence of people being homosexual to not “hesitate to bring it up for a comprehensive investigation.”

Nigeria has some of the most repressive anti-LGBTI legislation in the world. While the banning of homosexual acts is based on colonial era legislation, the country passed additional laws in 2014 to further criminalise LGBTI people and limit their right to free expression and assembly.

According to a report released in December 2018 by The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs) the human rights of approximately 286 LGBTI Nigerians were violated last year. The incidents reported included blackmail, extortion, invasion of privacy and arbitrary and illegal arrests.

Olumide Makanjuola, Executive Director at TIERs, told CNN that Badmos’ Instagram comments were “unacceptable” and that “Police should be wary with their statement and if they incite violence.”

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