Police in Nigeria have arrested 57 persons suspected to be gays in Lagos state. Those arrested were reported to be gathering to conduct initiation rites.
Punch reports that the said initiation took place on Sunday, at a hotel in the Egbeda area of the state.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi has confirmed the arrest to the local media.
“On arrival, young men, numbering over 80, were met in a hall taking different types of drinks, including Tramadol and Shisha laced with substances suspected to be marijuana.
As soon as they sighted the police, they ran in different directions. However, the team arrested 57 of them,” Imohimi said.
Those arrested have denied being gays but Imohimi says “There is something very worrisome about the arrest. Although being a gay contravenes Section 1, sub-section 1 of Same Sex Marriage Act of 2014, it is a threat to the moral fabric of our society.
Even though homosexualism is an offence, arranging elaborate initiation rites for young men as homosexuals is, to say the least, very worrisome.”
This is not the first time persons suspected of engaging in homosexual acts are being arrested in Nigeria.
Rights groups have called for the rights of such persons to be respected. In some African countries, they are either lynched or abused.
Most African countries have laws that do not provide protection for persons suspected to be gays.