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Prominent Nigerian police officer tells gay people to leave the country

Prominent Nigerian police officer tells gay people to leave the country

Chief Superintendent Dolapo Badmos of Lagos, Nigeria

A prominent police officer in Nigeria says gay people should leave the country. Dolapo Badmos is a Chief Superintendent and Public Relations Officer of the Zone 2 Police Command in Lagos.

Badmos has a high public profile, having graced the cover of local magazines and with over 125,000 followers on Instagram.

In an Instagram message posted last Friday, she reminded people that LGBT people face prosecution in Nigeria. She advised them to leave the country or risk arrest. She also asked people to bring her evidence of anyone they know who may be gay.

(Photo: @opetodolapo | Instagram)

‘If you are homosexually inclined, Nigeria 🇳🇬 is not a place for you. There is a law (Same sex Prohibition Act) here that criminalizes homosexual clubs, associations and organizations with penalties of up to 14yeats [sic] in jail.

‘So if you are homosexual in nature, leave the country or face prosecution.

‘But before you say does these matter?! Kindly note that anything against the law of the land is criminal and all crimes will be punished accordingly no matter how small you think it is.

‘The law says, “A person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies or organizations, directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years.”

‘Anyone convicted of entering into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union faces up to 14 years imprisonment.

‘All LGBT candidates in Nigeria should beware.’

Evidence wanted 

The posting prompted hundreds of comments, both supportive and critical. Many welcomed the statement, but others said the police should concentrate on more pressing matters. Some encouraged the police to prosecute particular Nigeria celebrities.

In a follow up post, according to local media Punch, Badmos said that rather than circulating names on social media, people should present evidence to police.

‘In view of my last post about homosexuals and the law banning them, some people have been mentioning one particular name (very risky though) to be one.

‘Kindly be informed that if you have any evidence or exhibits that can establish the case against him/her, please don’t hesitate to bring it up for a comprehensive investigation. Prosecution and conviction of suspects are not based on imagination rather it is based on evidence otherwise it will be treated as hearsay which is not admissible in court.

‘Until then, let us keep our fingers crossed and not keep our lives risky. Thank you.’

LGBTI people face persecution and prejudice in Nigeria

Nigeria, in West Africa, has a population of 190million. Same-sex sexual activity is against the law, and LGBT people have no legal protections from discrimination. In some parts of the country, where Sharia law applies, they can face the death penalty if found guilty.

Badmos’ posting may have been prompted by an open letter recently posted by a Nigerian celebrity. In early January, actor Alexx Ekubo urged Nigerians to stop judging gay people. In an open letter posted to his Instagram, the heterosexual star addressed Nigerian youth.

‘Learn to live and let live. If a person wants to be gay, let them gay in peace.

‘Personally I’m NOT, have NEVER been, and will NEVER be, let’s allow people to be free and comfortable with their sexual preference.

‘Stop the name calling and shaming.’

This was followed a week later by a prominent Nigerian actress, Alli Ojo, coming out as gay on her Instagram.

Reverend Jide Macaulay is an LGBTI rights campaigner and the founding Pastor and CEO of House Of Rainbow. In a statement to Gay Star News, he called Badmos’ comments, ‘alarming and threatening.’

GSN has contacted Nigerian Police for further comment.

See also

Straight actor Alexx Ekubo urges Nigerians to stop judging gay people

Nigerian actress comes out as gay on Insta and the backlash is awful