by Alexander O. Onukwue
About 42 persons were arrested on the 29th of July in Lagos for alleged acts of homosexuality.
28 adults and 12 minors, according to reports have been charged to court on the one-count charge.
The arrests have stirred left and right wing sentiments and arguments on the internet as to the propriety of the actions of the Police, the common question being “Why were they arrested?”
To some, they should not be arrested because they were doing their own thing in a hotel which they probably paid for, making it all a private affair. So why invade their privacy?
The counter narrative is that they were arrested because of the simple reason that homosexuality is against the law of the land. According to the Guardian, “they were said to have been caught in the act of homosexuality at a popular hotel in the area, simply known as vintage hotel”.
And the charge against them? “permitting male persons to have canal knowledge of themselves against the order of nature and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 261 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015”.
In other words, they were not just rounded up because they were choosing to have sex in a different way; they were violating a law of the State. The arguments about the individual – hence harmless ‘none-of-your-business’ – nature of their acts does not excuse for the fact that it is a stated offence against the law.
There can be no arguments as to why they were taken. To have done otherwise is to mock the law which exists to that effect. They were arrested because, going by the book, they were wrong.
They have been granted bail without any refusal from the prosecution, only requesting they be under the watch of AIDS and Domestic Violence units.
The subject of accepting homosexuality has had a fresh case to stir conversation but what has happened here is nothing but an adherence to standard procedure by the Police. They are not the villains in this.
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