Nigeria gives man three months jail for gay sex

Bestwood Chukwuemeka was sentenced to three months in jail by a Karu Senior Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, Nigeria for having consexual gay sex with another man

Nigeria gives man three months jail for gay sex
18 September 2012

Chukwuemeka, a 28 year-old actor, resident of Gidan Mangoro, had pleaded guilty to having engaged in ‘homosexual acts’, yesterday 17 September, 2012.

He was sentenced to a three months jail term.

Premium Times quoted him stating to the court: ‘I am guilty of the charge against me. I was under the influence of alcohol and I want the court to temper justice with mercy.’

The paper also noted that Chukwuemeka at first pleaded not guilty when he was first charged in early September, saying, ‘I came back drunk from the night club and thought I was sleeping on the same bed with my girl-friend and I started romancing her.’

At the hearing in September, Magistrate Buba, had ruled that alcohol should not be seen as an excuse for committing the offence, but then granted the accused bail in the sum of Nigerian Naira 200,000 (US$ 1,268 € 971).

However, when the case was heard on Monday, the actor suddenly pleaded guilty.

The police prosecutor, Mohammed Umar, said the convict’s act was contrary to Section 284 of the Penal Code and that he committed the offence in August when sleeping in his bed.

Section 284 applies to the northern states of Nigeria (Federal Provisions Act) states: ‘Whoever has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years and shall also be liable to fine’.

Senior Magistrate, Nafisatu Buba, sentenced him to three-month imprisonment without an option of fine, stating: ‘This would serve as warning to other youths who hide under the influence of alcohol to commit crimes’.

It is unclear what happened to the man Chukwuemeka had sex with.
The case also left unexplained as to how did the police arrest Chukwuemeka if he was in his bed at the time.

Homosexuality is illegal in the federal system of Nigeria and is punished in different states in varying degrees of severity.

In the southern states Section 214, 215 and 217 punishes same-sex acts with up to 14 years imprisonment.

Section 284 applies to the northern states and punished same-sex acts with up to 14 years imprisonment as well as a fine.

Twelve northern states have adopted some form of Shari’a into their criminal statutes regarding same-sex acts, including flogging and death by stoning. 

The U.S. Department of State’s 2011 Human Rights Report found that: ‘Because of widespread societal taboos against homosexuality, very few persons openly revealed their orientation.’ 

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