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Trial of 47 Nigerian men charged with homosexuality expected to resume this week

26 October 2020 12:40 PM
Tags:
Nigerian men
homosexuality law
Lagos homosexuality case
LGBTIQ rights

A major court case will be heard in Nigeria this week, which could test the country's laws against homosexuality.

After months of delays, Nigerian prosecutors will resume a closely-watched trial of 47 Nigerian men charged with public displays of affection with members of the same sex.

The men were arrested in a Lagos hotel during a police raid in 2018.

They have been charged with "public show of same-sex amorous relationship with each other in hidden places", reports BBC Correspondent Rich Preston.

The defendants, who have pleaded not guilty to the charges, face up to 10 years in jail if convicted.

Nigeria has been criticised by governments around the world for its legislation against homosexuality.

In 2014, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill criminalising same-sex relationships in Nigeria.

The Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA) bans gay marriage, same-sex “amorous relationships” and membership of gay rights groups with penalties of up to 14 years in prison.

Preston says the high-profile Lagos homosexuality case is seen as a test for a contentious law that criminalises homosexuality.

This is the case of 47 men who were arrested during a police raid on a hotel in the city of Lagos.

Rich Preston, Senior foreign news reporter - BBC

Officially, they were charged with "public show of same-sex amorous relationship with each other in hidden places."

Rich Preston, Senior foreign news reporter - BBC

The offence these men were charged with carries a 10-year jail sentence.

Rich Preston, Senior foreign news reporter - BBC

The men have pleaded not guilty. They say they were at a birthday party and that many of them don't even know each other.

Rich Preston, Senior foreign news reporter - BBC

This case is really seen as a test for the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act laws... Whatever the verdict is, it will set the bar.

Rich Preston, Senior foreign news reporter - BBC

Listen to the discussion for more updates:


26 October 2020 12:40 PM
Tags:
Nigerian men
homosexuality law
Lagos homosexuality case
LGBTIQ rights

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