53 charged over fugitive gay wedding in Nigeria

Nigeria's laws against homosexuality are extremely strict

Nigeria's laws against homosexuality are extremely strict

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fifty-three people have been charged in Nigeria for allegedly attending a same-sex marriage ceremony.

Newsweek reports that the marriage took place at a hotel in the Northern state of Kaduna and the two grooms were fugitives from the law.

A police prosecutor said the group "conspired to celebrate a gay marriage" and they have been charged with conspiracy, unlawful assembly and belonging to an unlawful society.

The suspects, who were arrested on April 15, have pled not guilty, but they could face 10 years in prison under Nigeria's strict laws against same-sex marriage.

However Nigerian LGBT activist Bisi Alimi told Newsweek that the charges were completely bogus, and the group were attending an easter party rather than a wedding.

“This incident is a reflection of the absurdity of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act," Alimi said. "

We know that people can be blackmailed for it and unfortunately it’s now the state that is using it to blackmail people.

“We know that there was no wedding taking place but the police have used the SSMPA to arrest these people.”