Last week, residents of Jiwa community in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) witnessed a ceremony marking the solemnisation of a gay marriage in the area. Leadership Newspaper reports that the ceremony was however cut short by the intervention of men of the Nigeria police who promptly arrested the suspects.
On Saturday February 6, 2016 a popular hotel in Jiwa Community of Abuja, King’s Land Hotel hosted two male guests who were there 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 many invited guests were already seated for the occasion, with invited guests, including their sponsors, the chairman of the occasion and other guests in their hundreds awaiting the commencement of the ceremony.
However just as the celebrants were emerging from the car that conveyed them to the venue and were about taking their seats at the high table, men of Nigeria Police Force drafted from the Gwagwa Police Station swooped down on them and promptly arrested them. The suspects who live in Jiwa Community are said to be indigenes of Kaduna State. Eyewitnesses said many other persons, including their sponsors, chairman of the occasion and the owner of the hotel were equally arrested during the raid.
Leadership Weekend 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 therefore sent a team of plain-clothed policemen to keep surveillance of the area. It was gathered that 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 sponsors of the marriage according to our findings are Abubakar Tahir and Mohammed Sani.
It would be recalled that on January 7, 2014, former President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law the Bill which outlaws same sex marriage. The signed bill says the gays; lesbians in Nigeria will risk a 14-year jail term if they do not retrace their steps and renounce such marriage. Also, 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 solemnisation of a same sex marriage are going to bag a 10-year jail term.