Police arrest over 100 Gay suspects in Delta
A Nigerian police spokesperson said the police are investigating at least 67 individuals found at a gay wedding. Delta State Command/Facebook/Screenshot
At least 67 people are being prosecuted by the Nigerian police on charges of attending a gay wedding.
In Nigeria, anyone attending or abetting a gay marriage faces up to 10 years in prison.
When questioned by local reporters, some attendees said they were instead at a night-time fashion event.
The Nigerian police said they arrested more than 100 people at a gay wedding on Sunday evening, declaring that authorities would prosecute many in the crowd for “allegedly conducting and attending a same-sex wedding ceremony.”
A spokesperson for the Delta State Command told reporters on Tuesday that officers found at least 200 people attending the event, and that 67 of the attendees are still being investigated.
Officials took issue with many of the attendees having “cross-dressed like females,” the spokesperson said in a Facebook live broadcast seen by Insider.
Same-sex relationships are illegal in Nigeria, with the country imposing 14-year prison sentences on anyone entering into a gay marriage contract or civil union. Witnessing, aiding, and abetting a same-sex marriage can result in a prison sentence of 10 years.
Dozens of the accused were made to sit and stand on a raised platform behind the spokesperson, and they were later interviewed by local media outlets, the broadcast shows.
Some of those arrested denied that they were attending a gay wedding, and told reporters they had been participating in a night-time fashion show. Others tried to hide their faces from the cameras.
State police said in a Tuesday press release that officers arrived at the event in the city of Warri on Sunday evening, scattering the crowd and chasing guests. They added that officials have obtained footage of the gathering that showed a marriage ceremony and wedding festivities taking place.
Amnesty International Nigeria condemned the arrests in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Tuesday.
“Amnesty International is calling on the Nigeria’s Delta state police command to immediately release the over 100 men, arrested and paraded to the media, over allegedly organizing gay marriage and put an immediate end to this witch-hunt,” the organization wrote.
“It is mind-boggling that the mere act of dressing style, hair, or sitting in a pair can assume criminal proportions,” it added.
The Delta State Command did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent outside regular business hours.