————-By Akpos Oghenetega—————-
The Awoirhen community leaders in Ughelli, Delta State, has declared one Mr Kenneth Thompson wanted for desecrating their land by allegedly engaging in “same-sex amorous relationship” which is considered as a taboo and carries grievous punishment of death or banishment.
Mr Thompson was accused of engaging in acts of Homosexuality with a 27 years old boy simply identified as Ovie Etakibubu in May 17th, 2016, after a birthday party of Ovie and was frontally arrested by the community youths and handed over to the council of chief and elders.
Thompson was tortured by the community vigilante where he openly confessed to been gay and was asked to pay a fine which includes three white he-goats, 21 tubers of yam, 20 liters of palm wine, 20 liters of local gin, 7 bottles of dry gin, gallon of palm-oil and 71 years of with cloth for the cleansing rituals.
He was prepared to provide these items and possibly face banishment from the community when, he got information that the community leaders had planned to hand him over to the Nigerian Police for prosecution, where he can get up 14years jail sentence.
Homosexuality can land men up to 14 years in prison in Southern Nigeria and capital punishment for men in areas under Sharia Islamic Law.
It will be recalled that on 13 January 2014, the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan signed into law the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which parliament passed in May 2013. The law follows a similar one passed in Uganda in December 2013, which imposes life imprisonment for some types of homosexual acts.
The Act makes a marriage contract or civil union entered into between persons of the same sex “invalid and illegal and … not recognized as entitled to the benefits of a valid marriage.”
It also prohibit the “public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly”
It makes a person who enters into a same sex marriage contract or civil union liable for 14 years’ imprisonment in the southern Nigeria and stoning to death in 12 states in the North that have adopted Islamic penal code.
Some organizations in Nigeria try to assist LGBT persons, such as the Metropolitan Community Churches. Attendance at church meetings, however, is risky.
The U.S Department of State’s 2011 Human Rights Report found, condemned the new law saying that it violates human right.
Faced with possible prosecution and banishment, Mr Kenneth Thompson escaped from the community and he has since be declared wanted dead or alive in order to cleans the land which he desecrated, however his where about have remain unknown.