A 37-year-old man, Chibuzo Peter was on Friday, sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for having unlawful carnal knowledge of three young men, Solomon Sunday (18), Ezirim Chimezie (18), and Anthony Oparaugo (19).
Justice Uche Stella Chukwu of an Owerri Magistrate Court convicted Chibuzo Peter for the offence which was committed on 14th August 2023 at Winter Suit Hotel, Owerri, against the order of nature with the consents of the young men obtained by force, threat and intimidation.
The court also sentenced Chibuzo Peter to 7 years imprisonment for conspiracy with Solomon Sunday (18), Ezirim Chimezie (18), and Anthony Oparaugo (19) to commit unnatural offence under Sec. 516 of the Criminal Code.
The Magistrate as well sentenced Solomon Sunday (18), Ezirim Chimezie (18), and Anthony Oparaugo (19) to 5 years imprisonment with an option of fine of N500, 000 each for contravening Section 214 of the Criminal Code.
Both sentences against Chibuzo Peter are to run concurrently.
The accused persons all pleaded guilty to the four- count charge, and the court summarily convicted and sentenced them to jail terms.
Before pronouncing the sentences, the court took evidence from the Investigating Police Officer, Kingsley Nwaoha who stated that the accused were caught in the act, and that they made confessional statements which were tendered in evidence as exhibits.
Recall that gay or same sex union is a crime in Nigeria. The bill, Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill was signed into law on January 7, 2014 by Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The law criminalises public displays of affection between same-sex couples and restricts the work of organizations defending gay people and their rights.
The law imposes a 14-year prison sentence on anyone who “[enters] into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union,” and a 10-year sentence on individuals or groups, including religious leaders, who “witness, abet, and aid the solemnization of a same-sex marriage or union.”
It imposes a 10-year prison sentence on those who “directly or indirectly make [a] public show of [a] same-sex amorous relationship” and anyone who “registers, operates, or participates in gay clubs, societies, and organizations,” including supporters of those groups.