Nigerian Human Rights Activist brings Lawsuit after Arrest and Unlawful Detention

nigeria_ny_antgb61Originally published on oblogdeeoblogda.me

Ifeanyi Orazulike, Nigerian activist in the field of human rights and sexual health, who was detained without cause or charge by Nigerian police, is requesting an order of enforcement against two Nigerian Government agencies for violating his constitutional rights. The detention of the activist came on the heels of a Nigerian Court throwing out a case seeking to squash the new Nigerian Anti-Homosexuality law, the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act.  The attorney who brought that case is now representing the Orazulike, who was arrested at 11.00 pm on the night of October 22nd at his office in Abuja, while celebrating his birthday together with 10 friends, well wishers and staff members.

Ifeanyi tells the story of the raid and his detention in an Affidavit attached to a motion filed in the Nigerian Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division, alleging he was arrested, detained and dehumanized, without charge. The motion was brought on October 24 by attorney Mike Enahoro Ebah, of Enahoro and Associates, based in Abuja, representing Ifeanyi, against The Inspector General of Police (1st Respondent)  and Abuja Environmental Protection Board (2nd Respondent.)

In his affidavit Ifeanyi asserts: Continue reading

High court in Nigeria tosses lawsuit challenging anti-gay law

nigeria-demo-for-campaign-page_originalThe Federal High Court of Nigeria has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013, contending that the plaintiff did not have legal standing because he is straight and not harmed by the law.

Human rights activists said that the ruling, while disappointing, actually opens the door for a new legal action against the anti-gay law. Nigeria, one of the world’s most populous nations, is also one of the worst places on Earth for LGBT rights.

Teriah Joseph Ebah, 42, a straight Nigerian who has lived in the UK for more than a decade and has a wife and children, sued the Nigerian government after the strict anti-gay law was signed into law. Ebah and his attorney argued that the law is discriminatory and criminalizes all things gay and punishes ordinary people who do not report the gays.

Oh well, they tried. Hopefully, there’ll come forward a plaintiff (you, him, her and me) who has the appropriate legal standing to challenge the law.

The LGBT response to Archbishop Kaigama’s turnaround

PicturesNigerian Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama recently made a remarkable about-turn on Nigeria’s anti-gay law, saying that he does not support jailing gay people, this after he, earlier this year, and on behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the draconian bill into law. At the time, Kaigama, wrote to Jonathan that his approval of the law “is indeed a courageous one” and “a right step in the right direction.”

It now appears that a visit to the Vatican has cleared Kaigama’s head and helped him realise that the Catholic Church is actually opposed to locking up gay people.

Following his insistence that the media’s reporting of his views was a “gross misinterpretation” and that he only supported the parts of the Nigerian law that banned same-sex marriage, Davis Mac-Iyalla, a Nigerian LGBT activist, responded to the archbishop’s hypocrisy, noting that, “there was and continues to be wide-spread violent attacks against those suspected of being homosexuals in Nigeria. Indeed, the persecution of gay people in Nigeria is strongly influenced by religious homophobia.” Continue reading

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama Admonishes FG To stop Punishing Gay Nigerians

Archbishop-Ignatius-Kaigama2The Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama has said Nigerian government is “wrong” for “punishing” gay Nigerians.

Speaking at a press briefing with The Tablet at the Vatican yesterday, the Archbishop stressed that the Catholic Church in Nigeria is opposed to any discrimination of gay people.

According to him, after Nigeria adopted a law that hands out 14-year sentences to gay Nigerians earlier this year, he had announced the Church’s support for the legislation. However, there was a “gross misinterpretation” of this by the media.

The Catholic Church, he now says, only supported the elements of the law that set out that marriage is between a man and a woman, but is against “the criminalization of people with different sexual orientations.” He told The Tablet:

“We are not supporting the criminalization of people with different sexual orientations. We would defend any person with homosexual orientation who is being harassed, who is being imprisoned, who is being punished. The Government may want to punish them – we don’t. In fact we will tell the Government to stop punishing those with different orientations.”

LGBT Activist Confronts President Jonathan During Washington Visit

PicturesA gay Nigerian activist who sought asylum in the United States confronted President Goodluck Jonathan over the country’s recently passed anti-LGBT law at a dinner in the president’s honor hosted by business groups in Washington on Wednesday.

Michael Ighodaro left Nigeria in 2012 after his ribs and hand were broken in an attack in the capital of Abuja and is now a fellow at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in New York. He approached Jonathan during a $200-per-plate dinner hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, held on the sidelines of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit organized by the White House this week.

Ighodaro challenged the president about the Anti-Same-Sex Marriage Act, signed into law in January, which also criminalizes advocating LGBT rights and displays of affection between people of the same-sex. Since its passage, there have been several reports of mob attacks targeting people alleged to be homosexual. Continue reading

Homosexuality In Nigeria: The Struggle To Survive

nigerian gaysHomosexuals with HIV/AIDS are struggling to survive.

Since Nigeria passed a law criminalising homosexuality in January, Gordon Austin has faced attacks, abuse, arrests and extortion in the south-western city of Ibadan. And the legislation has had an even more insidious effect on the 25-year-old. He is HIV-positive: getting health care has become harder. “I am not safe going to public health centres because of who I am,” he says. “I would never tell them I am a gay man—they would deny me treatment.” To get life-preserving antiretroviral drugs, he has to lie about his sexuality. “I have to pretend I am heterosexual because of the stigma,” he explains. “I have to live a fake life, a life that is not mine, just to get the health care I need.” Continue reading

JAIL THE DEVILS, THEY SAID

Here’s something CeeCee wrote during the period that the Nigerian anti-gay bill was signed into law, and the furor this kicked up. Have a read, and let us know your thoughts.

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JAIL THE DEVILSothers 15

It’s been some time now, and one subject has been on the lips of a large swathe of the Nigerian population. Everyone has an opinion on this subject, everyone is eager to thrust forth his opinion strongly, especially if they happen to hold identical views with the majority of the populace. President Goodluck Jonathan signed the same – sex marriage prohibition bill into law, the bill had previously made its way through Nigeria’s upper and lower legislative houses, all the while egged on by the Nigerian populace at the behest of various religious bodies. I shall not bother to go into the minute details of this law as it is safe to assume that you the reader must by now have critically examined this obnoxious piece of legislation. Continue reading

‘That One Person Out Of Ten Makes It Worth It.’ Chimamanda Adichie Defends Her Pro-Gay Stance

celebs 21Nigeria’s most critically acclaimed author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie penned her bestselling book, Americanah, and centered it on love, race and black hair. Over the past few months, she has been promoting the novel in Nigeria, America and the UK.

In an interview with The Rumpus, she spoke about the book . . . and the reason for that explosive piece she wrote in condemnation of the anti-gay law. You know, that one titled ‘Why Can’t He Be Like Everyone Else?’ In case you were under a rock during the uproar caused by this piece of hers, read it HERE.

Anyway, here’s an excerpt from her interview with The Rumpus, where she defends her pro-gay stance. I thoroughly love her remarks. I’m sure y’all will too.

On speaking out about Nigeria’s laws against homosexual: Continue reading

WHEN THE LAW IS STILL THERE

deep-thoughts“After the law was passed…”

Recently, we read THIS STORY about one of us who almost got into trouble with a policeman pretending to be gay. What struck me: the story not only bore sadness and fear, but ended in resignation and hope for good against evil.

I know it’s a defence mechanism: glossing over pain while moving on to brighter ground to talk about nicer things – like porn, Phyno’s lickable tattoos, Bunkside Frenzy, Jay Z and Bey–lange…

But does this help? Paracetamol may take care of the headache brought on by malaria, but without actual malaria treatment, you’ve only attacked a symptom not the illness itself.

I don’t know about the personal lives of everyone reading this, so I’m just working with a content analysis (posts and comments) of stuff we’ve had here so far. Thou shall not be offended, promise?

After the law was passed – according to the post – the writer was depressed, and while waiting for time to pass, he deleted shirtless pics of guys on his phone, binned his porn, deactivated his dating-site accounts… And then in the comments section, somebody tied himself to a chair, another one’s smooth skin transformed into gooseflesh, and yet somebody else advised that everyone rein in their libidos.

These are good pieces of advice, legitimate reactions – for self and for others… Again, is this the solution? Continue reading