Police releases same-sex marriage suspects

The suspects who were arrested while allegedly conducting same-sex marriage in Ekpan Community, Uvwie LGA, Delta State have been released by the police.

Counsel to the suspects, Ochuko Ohimor, speaking with the press in Warri, said the suspects were granted bail with a sum of N500,000 and two sureties each.

The lawyer noted that the suspects are to sign a register at the end of every arraignment at the State High Court of Justice, Effurun, in Uvwie LGA, where they were arraigned on September 4.

During proceedings, the Police prosecutor, Supol Vincent Orarumen, opposed the bail conditions, but the suspect’s counsel argued that it was not a capital offence.

Delta State Commissioner of Police had vowed to prosecute the suspects in line with Nigeria’s Anti-Gay Law, which, according to him, prohibits same-sex marriage in the country.

Many of the suspects who spoke to journalists during their arrests had denied the allegations leveled at them, insisting that they were only attending an “all-white party”.

Only one of them admitted to being gay “for four years”.

Anti-gay stance of Africa
The Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill was signed into law on January 7, 2014, by President Goodluck Jonathan, and was described by the Human Rights Watch as “a sweeping and dangerous piece of legislation”.

The law criminalises public displays of affection between same-sex couples and frowns at the activities of organisations defending gay people and their rights.

President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni assented to the controversial anti-homosexuality bill, despite condemnation of Western countries and human rights activists and signed the contentious anti-homosexuality bill while the law was first passed by MPs in March.

The offence of homosexuality in Uganda after the assent was limited to gay sexual conduct under the new law and people convicted under this provision face life in prison.

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