Again, it underlines the global problem; prosecution by class.
What is ‘Prosecution by class’?
A form of modern class distinction where though empowered by Law, the law enforcement agencies only work against the lower middle class to the lower class citizens while the middle-middle class engage in he same activities but get a free pass.
In a January 2018 episode of Loose Talk Podcast, LGBTQ activist, Bisi Alimi intimated that gay parties havebeen around since the early 90s and somehow, we have never heard of an Island raid.
The only times the Nigerian Police Force has deemed it fit storm gay parties, it’s been on mainland, Lagos, where the less than affluent members of the social hierarchy live.
There, nobody has anybody in the upper echelons of power. Basically, it seems the Nigerian Police Force only storm gay parties where they have no prior stake.
Homosexuality is unlawful under the Nigerian Law
Nonetheless, homosexuality is outlawed in Nigeria by the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, signed into Law by former President Goodluck Jonathan. Thus, homosexual relationships are unlawful and punishable under the Law. Thus, the members of the Nigerian Police Force are backed too arrest any suspected homosexuals.
However, the problem is that our constitution says everybody is innocent until proven guilty. Thus, why are members of the Nigerian Police Force parading suspects, who have not even by charged to a court of competent jurisdiction, let alone judged before the media as 'gay men' for 'gay initiation' or at a 'gay party'?
Police and media can do better
It is wrong for the Nigerian Police Force to parade individuals as criminals or gay people. It is unethical to parade people as thieves, armed robbers or gay people when they have not been found guilty of any crime.
The Nigerian press should also do better. Some of the questions they asked the alleged gay men who were arrested were embarassing. It is wrong to ask a person how he/she contacted HIV/AIDS.
None of the journalists at the kangaroo press conference have investigated if the Nigerian Police Force did actually raid a gay party. It is just speculations that have morphed into a poor theatre.
Homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria but the Nigerian Police Force should treat gay people in Nigeria with respect. Arresting grown men at a party and calling them gay is wrong. If two men are not caught in a sexual act in a public place then arresting two men at a party is uncalled for really.