In Nigeria a Mere Rumor of Being Gay Can Lead to Violence and Imprisonment

Published: August 8, 2013

 This week police in Aba state, Nigeria, had 40-year-old Benjamin Ndubuisi go on trail for having gay sex with a 23-year-old man, based on rumors.

 
Police allege that Ndubuisi, who they say is a pastor, had sex with a younger man who worked at his Ogbor Hill church, basing their case entirely on what appears to be verbal reports of locals.
 
The parents of the younger man, known only by his first name, Ndukwe, described in Nigeria’s anti-gay media as a "victim," allegedly reported to the police the alleged incident after he complained of "health problems" that led him to confess "to his family about the secret love affairs between him and the gay prophet [Ndubuisi]."
 
Obgbor Hill residents alleged that Ndubuisi engaged his victim as a worker in the church "as a ploy to always have him around to satisfy his sexual urge," reported the daily Vanguard.
 
According to Nigerian press, they further claimed that Ndubuisi "administered oath to Ndukwe to stop him from divulging the details of the love affair between them to his relatives and members of the church."
 
During a court appearance, the prosecutor, Galadima Rubies, stated that the accused committed the offense at Ogbor Hill in Aba on July 28.
 
According to him, Ndubuisi "had a carnal knowledge of a man’s son through the anus."
 
He added that the suspect "contravened Section 214 (1) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Abia 2005."
 
The law stipulates 14 years imprisonment on conviction for the offense, and the prosecution is asking for this punishment.
 
Ndubuisi pleaded not guilty.
 
Magistrate K. I. Udo granted Ndubuisi bail in the sum of N200,000 (US$1,250) with a surety in like sum.
 
The case was adjourned to Sept. 9 for further hearing.
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