A popular Nigerian police chief has warned homosexuals to flee the country or face the prosecution, according to reports.
Chief Superintendent Dolapo Badmos, spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, also called on Nigerians with evidence of homosexual activity to come forward.
The message was posted on her personal Instagram account - which is set to private but has around 125,000 followers - and cites a 2014 law signed by former president Goodluck Jonathan that criminalised same-sex marriage and public displays of affection between gay people.
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“If you are homosexually inclined, Nigeria is not a place for you. There is a law (Same-Sex Prohibition Act) here that criminalises homosexual clubs, associations and organisations with penalties of up to 15 years in jail,” Badmus wrote.
“So, if you are a homosexual in nature, leave the country or face prosecution. But before you say, ‘does this matter?’ Kindly note that anything against the law of the land is criminal and all crimes will be punished accordingly no matter how small you think it is.”
She added: “Anyone convicted of entering into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union faces up to 14 years imprisonment. All LGBT candidates in Nigeria should beware.”
Her warning is the “latest reminder of the challenges facing members of the LGBT community” in Nigeria, where the anti-gay law “enjoys broad support among its citizens”, CNN reports.
A recent report by The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs) found that around 90% of Nigerians support the continued enforcement of the 2014 law.
Badmos’ post has been liked more than 2,000 times, although not everyone is supporting her stance.
Some commenters “condemned the police for going after homosexuals and ignoring more pressing issues”, reports Nigerian newspaper The Punch.
Others accused the police of being partial, and claimed that “a cross-dresser, who now identifies as transgender, had become a celebrity but was left alone because he was rich”.
Responding to those claims, Badmus posted a message that said: “In view of my last post about homosexuals and the law banning them, some people have been mentioning one particular name (very risky though) to be one.
“Kindly be informed that if you have any evidence or exhibits that can establish the case against him/her, please don’t hesitate to bring it up for a comprehensive investigation.”
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