by Alexander O. Onukwue
Some groups have said that the persons arrested in a Lagos hotel for alleged acts of homosexuality were in fact attending an AIDS counseling event which was strictly for persons above the age of 18.
This comes out to discredit the information that among the 40 persons who have been arraigned before a Magistrate Court in Lagos, twelve were minors. Groups calling for the release of the men insist that their fundamental human rights are being infringed upon by their continued detention for the said offence.
News reports have it that the 28 adults were charged in a Yaba Magistrate Court, with their names released to the public. However, the ‘minors’ have remained unnamed after being arraigned in Ebute-Metta.
With no counter information on the names and ages of the other 12, it is not reckless to assume that they were minors, and that fact brings to mind some questions: How did they end up in the hotel for whatever event it was?
If they were aged seventeen and under, it is credible to assume that they are somewhat still under the guidance of adults from a home. In the event that some may be as young as fifteen, they probably would still be in secondary school, making use of their holiday season for who-knows-what.
Sexual choices are made by individuals but it cannot be underestimated that parents are expected to play some role of guardianship for their children. As it would be alarming if minors were caught out on a binge of alcohol, it should be no different with these children who are clearly out in a place where they should not have been if properly guided from home.
While they remain unnamed, it will be imminent for the responsible authorities to return them to their parents but provide for adequate monitoring to avoid any harsh afflictions on the children. It will surely be uneasy for the parents to come to terms with the fact that their wards would possibly have been involved in some sort of gay event.
But if the parents or guardians were aware, it will be quite a different story, wouldn’t it? Do the Police arrest them too?
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija