Lack of space stalls arraignment of 46 suspected homosexuals in Nigeria

The police on Tuesday failed to arraign 46 persons suspected of engaging in same sex relations at the Federal High Court in Lagos due to a lack of

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LGBT IN NIGERIA

The police on Tuesday failed to arraign 46 persons suspected of engaging in same sex relations at the Federal High Court in Lagos due to a lack of space in court.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa observed that the courtroom was too small to accommodate all the defendants.

He adjourned the planned arraignment till November 22, when a bigger courtroom would have been found.

The 46 defendants are part of the 57 persons arrested at a hotel in Egbeda on August 25, 2018, by the Lagos State Police Command.

The police alleged that the suspects were picked up at about 2am while they were performing gay initiation rites for newly recruited members.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to a three-count charge of conspiracy, membership of a secret cult, and unlawful gathering following their arraignment at a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court.

Chief Magistrate Kikelomo Ayeye admitted each defendant to bail in the sum of ₦200,000 with one surety in the like sum.
But the police re-filed a one-count charge against the defendants at the high court.

When the matter was called yesterday, defense counsel Israel Usman informed the court that 46 out of 57 of the defendants were in court set for arraignment.

But Justice Aikawa observed that only 36 names were listed before him as defendants.

He said: “I am going to record that most of the defendants are present in court because I only have 36 names before me.
“We cannot have 57 persons in this court. We have to look for a day we can use Court 2, so it can be convenient for all.”
The judge added that since the defendants were all on administrative bail, rescheduling the arraignment would not be unfair to them.

He advised prosecuting counsel Joseph Eboseremen to serve all necessary documents on the defense to enable them file all necessary applications on the adjourned date.

The court adjourned till November 22 for arraignment.

According to the new charge marked FHC/1/311c, the defendants made “public show of a same sex amorous relationship with each other in hidden places within Kelly Hotel” Egbeda.

The police said the defendants actions contravened Section 5(2) of the same sex marriage (prohibition) Act, 2013.

“The defendants are: Segun Ode ‘M’ 24, Afolabi David ‘M’ 20 ,Azeez Tunde ‘M’ 22 ,Adedokun Pelumi ‘M’ 22 ,Smart Joel ‘M’ 25, Iyodun Ehiosun ‘M‘ 20 ,Rilwan Jamiu,‘M’ 24, Raphael Matthew ‘M’38 ,Friday John ‘M’ 21, Godswill Kola ‘M’ 22, Chibuike Emmanuel ‘M’23 , Prince Collins ‘M’ 23, Daniel Aya ‘M’ 22, Edeh Amarachi ‘M’ 20, Alozie Innocent ‘M’ 21 , Kelvin Nwachukwu ‘M’ 23, Okekoya Gbemi ‘M’ 32, Odika Emmanuel ‘M’ 25, Kufo Emmanuel ‘M’ 27, Adewole Micheal ‘M’ 27, Kunle Samson ‘M’ 29, Daniel Soka ‘M’ 23, Alabi Olamilekan ‘M’ 21, Oluwaseun Odu ‘M’ 26, Oladipo Eniola ‘M’ 24, Bobby Moses ‘M’ 21, Desmond Onuha ‘M’ 23, Joseph Victor ‘M’ 23, Omoniyi Tobi ‘M’ 21, Kelvin Abuchi ‘M’ 22, Mohammed Abubakar ‘M’ 26, Lawal Yusuf ‘M’ 22, Odusina Micheal ‘M’ 23, Wole Ojo ‘M’ 24, Remy Godwin ‘M’ 21, Abiombola Damilola ‘M’ 21, Laguda Olamilekan ‘M’ 23, Alhassan Opeyemi ‘M’ 23, Samson Ode ‘M’ 23, Musibau Remi ‘M’ 33, Ibrahim Yusuf ‘M’ 24, Olajide Olaide ‘M’ 23, Isaac Patrick ‘M’ 23, Wasiu Ajibade ‘M’ 25, Oguaghanba Onyeka Miracle ‘M’ 41, Okechukwu Noble ‘M’ 25, Balogun Olanyinka ‘M’ 23, Abioye Wealth Olasunkanmi ‘M’ 25, Isa Asoma ‘M’ 25, Rasheed GBenga ‘M’ 25, Obiafor James ‘M’ 20, Jesse Paul ‘M’ 22, Oladipo Femi ‘M’ 25, Ogunirinde Yusuf ‘M’ 28, Chris Godsent ‘M’ 23, Solomon Showole ‘M’ 27, Olawale Adebayo ‘M’ 26 and others at large.

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