Still in the aftermath of the 57 people arrested in Lagos, reports are reaching us that no fewer than 41 perceived gay persons have been arrested by security operatives in Bauchi State. The victims were arrested during a joint operation by men of the (NPF) Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Bauchi State command.
In a report by Punch Newspapers, The Nigerian Police Force Public Relations Officer in Bauchi State; Kamal Abubakar, confirmed the incident and said the police had charged 37 of the victims to court.
He said, “Although we gathered through intelligence reports that the suspects were homosexuals, we did not charge them to court as homosexuals or lesbians since we did not catch them in the act. But we charged them for being public nuisance since they were arrested at a birthday party.”
This statement clearly shows that the police arrested these individuals based on reports of being gay but charged them with something else for lack of evidence.
In a bid to justify the arrests, Mr Kamal Abubabakar, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, reiterated the commitment of the police to protect lives and property of residents. No idea what that has to do with arresting young men at a party but The Bauchi State Commissioner for Religious Affairs; Alhaji Ado Zigau, went on to say the suspects were arrested based on intelligence reports.
He said, “Intelligence reports revealed that some lesbians and homosexuals planned a gathering at the Federal Secretariat Conference Hall. Security operatives were mobilised to the scene and they arrested quite a number of the suspects. Each security team arrested some suspects and took them to their office for interrogation.”
Meanwhile the state command of the NSCDC paraded four suspects they arrested separately from the NPF.
The Public Relations Officer of the corps, DSC Garkuwa Adamu, said, “On September 1, 2018, intelligence information revealed that some group of youths suspected to be homosexuals were having a meeting at the Federal Secretariat and we swung into action and arrested four suspects.The suspects are Abubakar Adamu, 18; Usman Abubakar, 20; Dalhatu Hassan, 19; and Mukhtar Mohammed, 20.”
“We recovered three Jincheng motorcycles, one Haojue ladies motorcycle, one generator, three birthday cakes, four GSM phones and other souvenirs during the operation,” he said.
There is no talk of what evidence the men were being held on other than hearsay and one of the paraded suspects; Abubakar Adamu, has already gone on record to deny being gay.
He said “We are not gay; we don’t have lesbians among us. I organised a birthday party and invited my friends. I sat with a female friend when I was arrested. I am a tailor and we followed due process and applied to use the Federal Secretariat Conference Hall, which they gave us. After we finished the birthday, security operatives came in and arrested us. But we are not homosexuals and we don’t belong to any association.”
When asked how he got money to organise the birthday, he said “I am a tailor. My customers pay me between N400 and N2,500. My friends contributed some of the items. I have learnt my lesson and I will not organise a birthday party again.”
We have reached out to some human rights operatives and await further development on the story, stay connected to The Rustin Times for more.