It was drama last week in the nation’s capital Abuja as residents of Jiwa community witnessed a ceremony marking the solemnization of a gay marriage in the area, which was eventually interrupted the Nigeria police who reportedly arrested the suspects.
Information made available by LEADERSHIP said the incident happened on Saturday, February 6, 2016, at King’s Land Hotel, a popular hotel in Jiwa Community of Abuja where two male guests came to celebrate their marriage, otherwise known as same-sex marriage.
According to findings, the stage was already set with the hall decorated awaiting the commencement of the ceremony. At about 5.30 pm with many invited guests already seated for the occasion. The invited guests, included their sponsors, the chairman of the occasion and other guests in their hundreds awaiting the commencement of the ceremony.
Their celebration was however cut short when the Nigerian police invaded the venue while the couple was about taking their seats at the high table. The police swooped down on them and promptly arrested them. The names of the two men were given as Abdul Lawal who is supposed to be the husband, while Umar Tahir posed as the wife.
The suspects who live in Jiwa Community are said to be indigenes of Kaduna State. Eyewitnesses told reporters that many other persons, including their sponsors, chairman of the occasion and the owner of the hotel were equally arrested during the raid. The sponsors of the marriage according to findings were Abubakar Tahir and Mohammed Sani.
It was also gathered that men of the Nigeria Police Force, Gwagwa Division (AMAC) had earlier gotten information about the marriage that was to take place in the area and had sent a team of plain-clothed policemen to keep surveillance of the area.
According to a bill signed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan in January 2014, gays and lesbians in Nigeria will bag a 14-year jail term if they do not retrace their steps and renounce such marriages.
The law also states that any person who operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations directly or indirectly will earn a 10-year imprisonment. Those who administer, witness, abet or aid the solemnization of a same-sex marriage are going to bag a 10-year jail term.