Police have been multiplying raids across some states in the country in a bid to stifle the activities of homosexuals like Victor Iredia
Homosexual acts are punishable by up to 14 years in jail in Nigeria, while gay marriage and displays of same-sex affection are also banned.
Gay people live in fear and cannot openly express their sexual orientation. They are not protected by any law so they face discrimination.
Iredia Victor wanted is among the many youth who are on the police “wanted list” for the practice of homosexuality.
Born on September 20, 1993 in Edo State, Nigeria, the whereabouts of Iredia Victor remains unknown, especially given that it has been difficult to trace anyone of his relatives.
Rumour has it that Iredia Victor is wanted has since been on the run after he was caught pants down with a certain Donard. The two received snake beatings from an angry mob months ago, an event which led to Iredia Victor’s disappearance.
Iredia Victor who before his escape was a resident of Edo State is said to have been raised by a Christian family, though he lost his parents in a ghastly accident sometime in 2012.
He is said to have moved in with a certain teacher after the demise of his parents. It is believed that this male teacher who remained unmarried till death might have initiated young Iredia Victor into this act considered by the people as evil and abominable.
It is probable that Iredia Victor became intimate with Donard when his guardian teacher passed on to eternity.
Information on Iredia’s whereabouts remains sketchy even as the police have intensified investigations into his alleged homosexual record.
Advocates of gay rights and their lawyers are under constant threats.
On January 7, 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria signed into law the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill.
The law criminalizes public displays of affection between same-sex couples and restricts the work of organizations defending gay people and their rights, human rights groups have said.
The law imposes a 14-year prison sentence on anyone who “[enters] into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union,” and a 10-year sentence on individuals or groups, including religious leaders, who “witness, abet, and aid the solemnization of a same-sex marriage or union.” It imposes a 10-year prison sentence on those who “directly or indirectly make [a] public show of [a] same-sex amorous relationship” and anyone who “registers, operates, or participates in gay clubs, societies, and organizations,” including supporters of those groups.
“This law criminalizes the lives of gay and lesbian people, but the damage it would cause extends to every single Nigerian,” said Graeme Reid, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights director at Human Rights Watch. “It undermines basic universal freedoms that Nigerians have long fought to defend and is a throwback to past decades under military rule when civil rights were treated with contempt.”
The Nigerian Senate approved the bill on November 29, 2011, and the House of Representatives passed it on its third and final reading in May 2013. A “harmonization committee” finalized the bill in December, preparing the way for President Jonathan’s signature.
The legislation could lead to imprisonment solely for a person’s actual or imputed sexual orientation. People could face charges for consensual sexual relations in private; advocacy of LGBT rights; or public expression of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The terms “same-sex marriage” and “civil union” are so broadly defined in the law that they include virtually any form of same-sex cohabitation.
“The law is so vague that it is likely to lead to the arbitrary arrest of gay people, while facilitating extortion and blackmail of vulnerable groups by members of Nigeria’s notoriously corrupt security services,” Reid said. “This law threatens to further marginalize an already stigmatized population, driving them underground and imperiling their rights and their health.