LAGOS, Nigeria — A Nigerian courtroom on Tuesday threw out a case towards 47 males charged with public shows of affection with members of identical intercourse due to what the choose known as the failure of prosecutors to look in courtroom and name witnesses.
The trial, heard in Lagos, Nigeria’s greatest metropolis and industrial capital, was broadly seen as a take a look at case for a regulation launched in 2014 that bans same-sex “amorous relationships.” The regulation carries a jail time period of as much as 10 years.
The lads have been arrested in a police raid on a Lagos resort within the metropolis’s Egbeda district in 2018. Cops stated the lads have been being initiated right into a homosexual membership, however the defendants stated they have been attending a party.
Prosecutors did not attend a listening to on the Federal Excessive Court docket in Lagos, having beforehand did not current witnesses in a case that had been adjourned on a number of events.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa stated he was dismissing the case due to the “lack of diligent prosecution.”
The Nigerian regulation banning homosexual marriage, punishable by a 14-year jail time period, and same-sex “amorous relationships,” stoked a world outcry when it got here into power underneath Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s former president, in 2014.
Earlier than the courtroom’s judgment, prosecution and protection legal professionals within the case instructed Reuters that no one had but been convicted underneath the regulation. A number of the males beforehand instructed Reuters that they had been stigmatized due to the resort raid and a televised information convention held by the police through which they have been recognized the day after their arrest.
Homosexuality is outlawed in lots of socially conservative African societies the place some spiritual teams regard it a corrupting Western import. Homosexual intercourse is against the law in international locations throughout the continent, with punishments starting from imprisonment to demise.