Lagos state police in Nigeria arrested 57 men, including a dancer preparing to perform at a party, for alleged homosexual activities on 26 August 2018, reported News Agency of Nigeria.
Imohimi Edgal, the state police commissioner, said officers stormed the Kelly Ann Event Centre in Egbeda at 2am after receiving intelligence that a group of young people would be initiated into a gay club. Police found about 80 young men allegedly taking “different types of drinks including banned substances like Tramadol, shisha laced with substances suspected to be marijuana”, according to NAN.
“As soon as they sighted the police, they ran into different directions but the team arrested 57 of them,” Edgal said. The suspects were paraded to media outside the police station, as seen in this video of the police press conference by TV360 Nigeria.
Under the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2014, people who participate in gay organisations, “same sex amorous relationships” or same-sex marriage face up to 14 years in jail.
Some of the suspects have denied the allegations, insisting they were at the hotel for other reasons, such as a wedding or birthday party.
Suspect James Obialu told NAN he is not gay; he is a dancer and was due to perform at the party before he was arrested. “I am a responsible citizen and I work at the Alimosho General Hospital as a counsellor for those living with HIV,” he told NAN.
Another suspect, 23-year-old Daniel Sokari, said he was staying at the hotel after participating in the ‘Mr Tourism Nigera’ pageant in nearby Lekki, reported Premium Times.