Reports surfaced online in the early hours of Sunday, July 30, that 42 persons were arrested in the early hours of Saturday at Owode, Lagos state, on the allegations that they were gay. According to The Sunday Punch, an eyewitness said the “suspects” were engaging in homosexual acts.
While The Rustin Times can confirm the story, investigations reveal that the police raided the private party following a tip from some of the residents in the area. 70 people were arrested and taken to the police station and 28 were released on bail, leaving 42.
Further investigations reveal that the party was an opportunity to render HCT (HIV Counselling and Testing) services to members of the community. A source who was at the party also added that there were no illegal activities going on and that the attendees were just out, having a good time.
Access to Health and Rights Development Initiative (AHRDI) has been working to secure the release of the arrested persons. AHRDI confirmed the Lagos State Police PRO, Olarinde Famous-Cole’s comments that the arrested persons are in the custody of the Lagos State Task Force. The advocacy group also added that they have no idea how to reach the arrested persons. The group has also engaged The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs) to see to the release of the arrested young men.
Speaking on the development, a spokesperson for TIERs stated that: “There is no concrete evidence for the arrest of these persons that is why they say they are ‘caught in the act’. These men were just out having a good time.”
Legal representatives of both Human Rights Organizations have said that the case will be followed up and closely monitored.
The Rustin Times will continue to follow the story and will constantly give updates.