The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has warned against activities related to “unnatural offences” and same-sex marriage within the country, declaring them illegal and vowing to arrest perpetrators.
This announcement comes amidst a recent trend on social media where some individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ are raising concerns about potential discrimination and being stereotyped in the country.
Police spokesperson, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a statement stated that same-sex marriage is strictly prohibited in the country, and the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act of 2014 criminalises the solemnization, operation, and public display of same-sex marriages.
“In accordance with the Nigerian Criminal Code Act applicable in Southern States, unnatural offences are prohibited under Sections 214 to 217. These sections specifically criminalise acts considered unnatural, such as having carnal knowledge of a person, or permitting a person to have carnal knowledge of one against the order of nature, or having carnal knowledge of an animal, and those found guilty may face legal consequences as outlined by the law.
“This is re-echoed by Section 284 of the Nigerian Penal Code applicable in the northern part of the country.”
The force added that anyone who violated these laws would face “due legal processes” and urged citizens to report any suspicious activity related to these issues, noting that such information would aid law enforcement efforts.
“We need to collectively kick against such, while we urge parents and guardians to take note and support the police in the fight against such inhuman activities which are alien to our culture and also punishable under the law.”
The NPF’s statement comes amidst ongoing debates about LGBTQ+ rights in Nigeria. While homosexuality remains illegal, some human rights activists advocate for greater tolerance and inclusivity.
The Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act was signed into law on January 7, 2014, by former president Goodluck Jonathan. Violation of the law would land erring persons about 14 years in jail.
Despite the existence of the Same-Sex Prohibition Act, there have been reported activities of the LGBTQ community in some parts of the country.