Nigerian police have arrested more than 41 suspected homosexuals in Bauchi State.
Local media reports that the suspects were arrested during a joint operation by the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Punch reports that the police have already charged 37 of the suspects to court. The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Kamal Abubakar confirmed the arrests to the Punch.
He is quoted as saying that “Although we gathered through intelligence reports that the suspects were homosexuals, we did not charge them to court as homosexuals or lesbians since we did not catch them in the act.
But we charged them for being public nuisance since they were arrested at a birthday party.”
Last month Police also arrested 57 persons suspected to be gays in Lagos state. Those arrested were reported to be gathering to conduct initiation rites.
Homosexualism is an offence in Nigeria and there is an ongoing efforts to clampdown on the practice. Most African countries have laws that do not provide protection for persons suspected to be gays.
Rights groups have called for the rights of such persons to be respected. In some African countries, they are either lynched or abused.