A police officer in Nigeria was attacked, stripped naked, and beaten by a group of young vigilantes for having consensual sex with another man in private.
Constable Chibuike Ukazu, who is reportedly married, and another man only identified as Yellow, were confronted in a private residence in Orlu, Imo, last Tuesday.
An unnamed source told The Nation the two men were “caught red-handed having anal sex.”
“Immediately we entered the house, the police officer took down his trousers and pulled off his shirts, bend over and the yellow guy, started having annal sex with him,” said another man who is a part of the vigilante group. “Immediately our men broke in and arrested them and took them down to the community hall.”
A police spokesman, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the incident saying the youths “pounced” on the men and “beat them to stupor” before taking them to the palace of the community leader. It was there that police took the men into custody as they were being jeered by the vigilantes for “practicing sodomy.”
The spokesman also seemed to express more concern that the vigilantes had roughed up a fellow police officer more than the assault itself.
“The command, therefore, wishes to warn members of the public to desist from taking laws into their hand by resorting to self-help especially on infractions by the members of the Police or other security agencies, all are advised to report all grievances to the nearest Police station for prompt and decisive action,” said Ikeokwu. “However, investigation into the matter has commenced with a view to unravel what actually transpired and if found culpable will face the wrath of the law.”
In a country with some of the most virulently anti-LGBTQ laws in the world, Ukazu and his partner face up to 14 years in prison if convicted.
When the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act was signed into law in 2014, polling showed 92% of Nigerians supported the legislation. The act not only bans gay marriage but also criminalizes homosexual clubs, associations, and organizations.
Another poll by Pew Research showed 98% of Nigerians didn’t feel homosexuality should be accepted by society. That is the highest percentage of disapproval of LGBTQ people recorded by Pew Research.