Nigeria’s homophobic and untrustworthy media has published reports — unconfirmed reports — about two sets of arrests of gay youths:
Two teenagers, ages 14 and 19, were arrested in Ikotun, near Lagos, after police allegedly caught them having anal sex, according to Absolute Naija. The report gave their alleged names and school affiliations, but no date for the arrest. The account, published Nov. 13, was accompanied by a presumably unrelated photo of two men lying together.
Twenty-one students, ages and names unspecified, were arrested in Asaba in Delta State at two unnamed state polytechnic schools that had allegedly had become “a beehive of perverse sexual acts,” according to the Nigerian newspaper The Punch and several other Nigerian online news sites. The account in Punch, published today, was accompanied by a photo of the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Alkali Usman, who was not mentioned in the article.
Nigerian newspapers often report on alleged arrests of LGBTI people, but almost never report on any subsequent steps in the legal process, such as trials, acquittal and release, or conviction and sentencing. On investigation, some such reports have turned out to be total fabrications.
The Punch article also reiterated two myths about homosexuality that are common in Nigeria and elsewhere — that people adopt a homosexual orientation for financial gain and that homosexuality is a result of cult activity.
For more on the bias in the Punch coverage, see commentary in the “O-blog-dee” blog.
- Nigeria: No court challenge vs. alleged police misconduct (May 21, 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Nigeria: 12 arrests at party; police call it ‘gay wedding’ (Jan. 27, 2015, 76crimes.com)
- 25 reported arrests in Nigeria (Nov. 7, 2014, 76crimes.com)
- 3 arrested, jailed in Nigeria (Feb. 19, 2014)
- Puny response to 68 arrests in Nigeria’s anti-gay war (Jan. 21, 2014)