by Reuben Daba
For having sexual intercourse with another man “through the anus”, a 28-year old Nigerian actor, Bestwood Chukwuemeka, was on Monday sentenced to three-month imprisonment by a Karu Senior Magistrates’ Court, Abuja.
The sentencing came after Chukwuemeka had pleaded guilty: “I am guilty of the charge against me. I was under the influence of alcohol and I want the court to temper justice with mercy,’’ he said.
Presenting the prosecution case, the police prosecutor, Mohammed Umar, had told the court
that Chukwuemeka committed the offence in August when the complainant was sleeping in his bed.
In Nigeria, homosexual acts are contrary to Section 284 of the Penal Code.
The Senior Magistrate, Nafisatu Buba, who handed the three-month imprisonment sentence to Chukwuemeka without an option of fine, said: “This would serve as warning to other youths who hide under the influence of alcohol to commit crimes.”
During his first arraignment in early September,
Chukwuemeka pleaded not guilty, saying, “I came back drunk from the night club and thought I was sleeping on the same bed with my girl-friend and I started romancing her.”
The judge had ruled then that consumption of alcohol should not be seen as an excuse. She however granted the accused bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum, with one of the sureties being a civil servant on Grade
Surprisingly, when the case was heard Monday, the actor suddenly pleaded guilty, leading to his sentencing.
Nigeria maintains a strict opposition to homosexuality and lesbianism. In November 2011, the Nigerian Senate passed the Same Sex Marriage (prohibition) bill 2011, which bans same-sex marriage and public display of affection by gays in Nigeria. The bill prescribes 14-year jail terms for convicted gays in