No fewer than 40 suspected homosexuals were on Thursday arraigned at the Ebute-Metta Magistrate Court and the Yaba Magistrate Court in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
The suspects arraigned by the Lagos State Government included 28 adults and 12 minors for allegedly engaging in homosexuality contrary to the laws of the land.
The minors were arraigned before Ebute-Metta Magistrate Court, while the adults were arraigned before Yaba Magistrate Court.
The defendants, who are all male, were arraigned separately on a one-count charge.
They were all arrested last Saturday by men of the Lagos State Police Command in Owode Onirin area of the State.
The defendants were said to have been caught in the act of homosexuality at a popular hotel in the area simply known as Vintage Hotel.
According to the criminal charge, the defendants were said to have “On or about 29th July, 2017, at Vintage Hotel, No. 999 Ikorodu Road/Toyin Close, Weigh Bridge, Owode Onirin, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did engage in gay activities by permitting male persons to have canal knowledge of themselves against the order of nature and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 261 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.”
The adults are Adedayo Kamadupe (27), Abiodun Pedro (22), Ikechukwu Onyebuchi (32), Dike Stanley (19), Oji Charles Isioma (28), Garuba Ibrahim (21), Monday Favour (20), Ayo Marcus Ayobamidele (26), Stanley Adeasbo (25), Victor Isaac (18), Godwin Williams (19), Kashimawo Oluwatosin (25), Abass Tajudeen (24), Olamigoke Adeola (19) and Yussuf Fawaz (19).
Others are Johnson Michael (19), Francis Michael (22), Samuel Adeyinka (25), Samuel Collins (25), Kazeem Akorede (25), Adebayo Bukola (23), Ochiagha Ifeanyi (19), Babatunde Taiwo (26), Raphael Dugh (30), Kenneth Ubaji (19), Alisi Ferdinand Okechukwu (30), Malik Ahmed (18) and Olamide Adeola (18).
After the charge was read to the defendants, they all pleaded not guilty, while their lawyers – Ehiko Onoche, S.M Oladele urged the Court to admit them to bail.
The prosecution team led by Ms Adetutu Oshinusi from the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), Lagos State Ministry of Justice did not oppose their bail application but urged the Court to direct the defendants to submit themselves to the Lagos State Aids Control Agency (LSACA) for monitoring and Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) for rehabilitation.
The officials of both agencies were also present in court.
In his ruling, Chief Magistrate Adewale Ojo granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N500, 000 and two sureties in like sum.
One of the sureties, according to the Court, must be a relative of the defendants, while the other must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction. The sureties must also present evidence of tax payment.
The Magistrate also granted the request of the prosecution demanding monitoring and Sexual rehabilitation for the defendants, while the matter was adjourned to September 8, 2017.
The minors were arraigned before Magistrate Segun Elias of Ebute-Metta Magistrate Court in a closed-session.