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Nigerian Court Releases 69 People on Bail for Attending an Alleged Gay Wedding

News & Opinion

A Nigerian court has released 69 out of 200 people who were arrested in connection to a gay wedding held last month in Ekpan.

According to their lawyer Ochuko Ohimor a Delta State court decided Tuesday that the suspects would be released from a prison detention center after each posted $645 ($500,000 naira) bail to the court.

“They are to provide sureties, who will submit their particulars to the court. So, the 69 suspects have been granted bail and I am processing their paperwork,” Ohimor said.

The suspects, who were absent in court, have been ordered to sign a register at the court in Warri monthly until their next court hearing.

Ohimor said he felt the suspects deserved to be granted release because they were not facing a capital offense, a decision which was not supported by state prosecutors. State prosecutors could not be reached for comment.

The arrest comes on the heels of the growing number of Anti-LGBTQ laws that have been introduced in Africa.

Earlier this year in March the Ugandan parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality that banned citizens from identifying as LGBTQ+ in the country.

The anti-gay laws in Nigeria includes a prison term of up to 14 years for those convicted, and bans same-sex marriage and relationships, and forbids the membership of gay rights groups.

While some within the country have celebrated Nigeria’s anti-LGBTQ laws other have opposed them.

Amnesty International's Nigeria office condemned the arrests and called for "an immediate end to this witch-hunt."


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