Three men face up to 14 years jail for alleged Nigeria hotel gay sex

Three men remanded in custody for having gay sex in a hotel in Northern Nigeria, while local LGBT activists slam the country's press for inciting misinformation and hate

Three men face up to 14 years jail for alleged Nigeria hotel gay sex
08 April 2013

A Mararaba in Nasarawa State, Northern Nigeria ordered three men accused of gay sex to be remanded in prison and await a possibly judgment of up to 14 years in jail for their ‘offence’.

The News Agency of Nigeria named the accused as Armstrong Ihua, 40, of Ikorodu, Lagos State; Collins Ejike, 30, of Lugbe, Abuja, and Pius Bamayi, 25, of Masaka, Nasarawa State.

They pleaded not guilty to the charge.

According prosecutor Stephen Kwaza, Ihua and Ejike lured Bamayi under false pretenses to Ihua’s room in a local hotel to smoke Indian hemp.

When Bamayi fell asleep, the other two men started having sex, and then removed his trousers and attempted to performed fellatio on him.

He said the act woke Bamayi up, who hit Ihua with his elbow, causing commotion ‘alerting’ staff at the Luna Gest Inn, where the men have been staying.

The case was reported to the police by staff, Pius Bamayi and Patrick Okorie who work at the Luna Guest Inn, in Mararaba, on 31 March.

Kwaza stated that the ‘unnatural offence’ contravened the provisions of Section 284 of the Penal Code.

Section 284, which applies to the Northern States of Nigeria, provides that:
‘Whoever has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man [or] woman … shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years and shall also be liable to fine’.

He also demanded the judge does not grant the accused bail, so further ‘investigation’ could be carried out.

Despite pleads by defense lawyer, Messrs Charles Maduewyi, Momoh Mohammed and Gabriel Okpake for bail, Judge Vincent Gwahemba, refused the accused bail ordering the accused be remanded in prison.

He adjourned the case to April 23 for further hearing.

But the Nigerian LGBT rights activists have been warning that such cases are often more a result of the laws against gay people being used to extract blackmail and bribes.

Adebisi Alimi, a Nigerian LGBT rights advocate told Gay Star News: ‘The Nigerian news reporting not only does not do its job investigating a story but aid to spread moral panic and misinformation about cases, that most of the time, are set ups.

‘This usually involves unpaid blackmail fees by gay people, or a group of guys ganging up against someone they know is gay as the law puts LGBT people in Nigeria at risk of precisely such acts’.

Alimi further stressed that this not only biases justice and inflames public opinion but further puts LGBT Nigerians in danger: ‘The increasing arrest of LGBT people and subsequent outing in the Nigerian media is of high concern and very worrying.

‘Naming of people and using their pictures without yet being convicted of a crime is not just destroying their lives and that of their family, but it is a pure violation of their fundamental human rights to privacy.

‘It seems Nigerian press is waging war against LGBT people just like the media in Britain was over 40 years ago and though I am sure this is a battle we will win. The harmful thing will be the many lives that would have been destroyed along the way’.
 

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