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Gay Nigerian forced to sign affidavit renouncing homosexuality

A young man, name withheld, was recently arraigned by the Police after he was allegedly accused of being involved in a homosexual act and was subsequently coerced into taking an oath before a court of law and signing an affidavit renouncing homosexuality to that effect in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.

From the African Human Rights Media Network

Homosexuality has remained a contentious subject in Nigeria; most religious groups brand it a corrupting Western import. Thus, the lesbian, gay, transgendered, and/or bisexual person is considered a deviant and subjected to multifaceted forms of social, economic, and political discrimination.

The signed affidavit.

It is to be recalled that a law came into force in 2014 which outlaws gay marriage, punishable by a 14-year jail term, and same-sex “amorous relationships”. The signing of this bill into law reveals, to a great extent, how unconducive the country is for LGBTIQ+ persons.

It is, in keeping in line with this anti-gay law that a young man was arrested by the Police in Benin City, Edo state on receiving a report of him being involved in a “homosexual act” and brought before a court of law to swear an oath, signing an affidavit also, denouncing homosexuality.

Number three (3) of the signed affidavit read: “that I was involved in it but I am no longer involved and that I renounce from it since I gave my life to God and I was delivered by my pastor.” Emphasizing number three (3) above, number four (4) holds that “that I hereby with this affidavit confirm the above fact that I am no longer involved in a homosexual act, that I have given my life to Christ, hence this affidavit.”

This case is only but a tip of the iceberg of the discrimination and molestation by law enforcement agencies, and surprisingly even the Judiciary which is supposed to be the protector of the citizen’s rights, that LGBTIQ+ persons face in Nigeria.

It is appalling that with all the awareness going on worldwide about sexuality and the need to accept those who were born different, most Nigerians still cling to the belief that lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons are “psychologically sick” or “possessed by an evil spirit” as religious fanatics would say. Hence, the need to subject them to a forced rehabilitation, for instance, making them renounce their sexuality by swearing an oath and signing an affidavit and a deliverance session by pastors which oftentimes involve some crude methods like bathing in a river.

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