Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 14 June 2013 | 3,429 times
It was an unusual scene Wednesday in Atani, Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State in Nigeria’s South-East, as some people who claimed to be homosexuals tried to disrupt proceedings at the Atani Chief Magistrate Court in solidarity with two suspected homosexuals standing trial for allegedly committing same-sex offence.
A large crowd of men with feminist outlook had started gathering at the court premises before 9:00 a.m., chanting anti-police songs, saying it was wrong for the police to interfere with their fundamental rights and freedom of association.
They demanded the unconditional release of the two persons standing trial on a two-count charge of violating the law, insisting that they would continue to fight for their rights in Nigeria.
Despite their protests however, the court remanded the two suspects in prison custody on the ground that the magistrate court had no jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
Surprisingly, none of the demonstrators was arrested despite openly identifying themselves as gay. Homosexualism is a crime in Africa’s most populous country and the National Assembly recently passed a bill prescribing three to 14 years jail term for offenders.
•Photo shows Anambra State Police Commissioner, Mr. Balla Nassarawa.
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