Nigerian Court Remands Dozens To Prison After Attending Alleged Gay Wedding

The police raided a suspected same-sex ceremony and arrested more than 200 people.

At least 60 people arrested recently in Nigeria for involvement in an alleged gay wedding were ordered to remain in prison.

A court granted the police request following a hearing  Monday (Sep. 4) in the southern city of Warri in Delta state, Reuters reports.

“The suspects have been arraigned in court today and the judge has ruled that they be remanded in prison for two weeks," Delta state police announced but did not specify how many suspects had been remanded.

Nigeria is one of many nations on the continent that outlaws same-sex relationships, defending their anti-gay sentiments as part of African culture. In Uganda, LGBTQ people face the death penalty.

Defense lawyer Ochuko Ohimor said he’s trying to secure the release of his 60 clients ahead of their Sep.18 hearing.

"All we are doing now is to bring up bail applications on their behalf... if it is found meritorious it (the court) can admit them to bail. The bail application can come before the expiration of the 14-day remand order," said Ohimor, who believes that 69 suspects were remanded to jail.

Police To Prosecute 67 People Connected To Alleged Same-Sex Wedding In Nigeria

Police said they found out about the alleged wedding ceremony from an attendee who was stopped during a routine patrol, CNN reports. The suspect told officers that he was an actor but later confessed under interrogation that he is a member of “a certain gay club” and was headed to another member’s marriage.

On Aug. 29, the police announced that they would prosecute 67 people among the more than 200 who gathered at the alleged wedding. At the police press conference, some of the suspects told reporters that they were not gay but are models and fashion designers.

Entering into a same-sex marriage or civil union is punishable by up to 14 years in prison under Nigerian law.

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