Earlier today we received reports that about 80 allegedly gay persons had been arrested in Lagos. As at now, the law enforcement authorities have not issued a statement but an eyewitness who narrowly escaped the incident that happened in the early hours of this morning at Kelly Ann Hotels, Egbeda shared his experience with The Rustin Times. They were attending a party at the hotel when the police shut down the occasion and rounded up as many persons as they could while extorting and assaulting the rest.
Here’s what the eyewitness had to say about the incident:
“I got to the party around 10pm, I was among the first people to arrive and things had not kicked off so I went to the outdoor bar with my friends. Also at the bar were a group of men dressed in black, I overheard one of them tell the group to look at the type of people walking into the hall and he said he felt like using his gun to shoot them because they looked gay. Another man mentioned that this was a common area for gay people and that they had a club they would usually visit close by. I thought it was drunk talk and after a while they left but one stayed behind. At midnight the party had started and they were calling names to the high table when I noticed that police men were in the hall. About 8 of them surrounded the hall and started assaulting people. In the panic I ran through the back and hid in the trash but one of the officers followed me and found me. I pleaded with him to let me go and he asked me for my phone, I told him I didn’t have my phone with me but I had one thousand naira so he collected it and asked me to hide under a car. From my hiding spot, I could see them harassing people from the party. The hotel manager and his wife came and told one of the officers that they had no right to come and arrest their clients. The man told them the people at the party were homosexuals and lesbians and showed them a text from an informant who said gay people were having a party at the hotel. I could recognize the man from earlier by the bar, he had come back with 3 danfo buses, 4 police vans and 1 private car. They arrested over 80 people out of the almost 200 persons in attendance, they also went away with phones and money. I was with 2 ladies after the police left and people’s started coming out from their hiding places but unfortunately thugs had heard what was going on and showed up to harass the people left. Luckily for me one of the ladies I was with paid the thugs five thousand naira and we left there unharmed. When I left the thugs were beating the other guys and I heard the police would be taking those arrested to Ikeja or Oshodi police station.”
Sources close to The Rustin Times have reported that local human rights activists are already monitoring the case. This incident follows the arrest of 6 men in Abia state, a few days ago. While police brutality and extortion to perceived gay people increases everyday we do hope justice will eventually prevail. Stay connected to The Rustin Times for more development on the story.