The United Nations, yesterday, said it would not relent on its effort to persuade Nigeria to repeal the law that criminalised same sex marriage in the country, even as it adduced reasons why it would not in the meantime, impose any sanction on the nation.
Addressing a press conference at the end of her four days working visit to Nigeria, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, while advocating for adequate protection of the rights of lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals and transgender, LGBT, yesterday, described the same sex marriage law as “draconian and illegal”, saying “the law already appears to be having other dangerous side effects.”
Pillay, who was in the country to appraise human right situations, said the UN would forthwith hold the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, accountable to his assurances that the same sex marriage law was not in any way intended to criminalise individual sexual orientations.
According to the South African born UN Chief, “In the twenty years since the office of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights was created, this is the first time any High Commissioner has visited Nigeria. I am grateful to the government for inviting me.”
”This is a very important country, with easily the largest population in Africa, big ambitions and huge potential. On the international level, Nigeria has been playing an increasingly significant role in the Human Rights Council in Geneva and is currently a member of the Security Council. It can, and I believe should, play an even more significant role on the international stage in the years to come, and its embrace of human rights will be a major element in deciding its future course both internally and internationally.
”One of the groups living in fear is Nigeria’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The new law known as the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition Act) goes far beyond prohibiting same sex marriage- which was illegal anyway.
”The law violates international law in that it is discriminatory and seriously impinges on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, and could lead to human rights defenders advocating for the rights of LGBT people receiving draconian prison sentences.
”There is also concern among medical specialists that it will have serious negative consequences for public health in Nigeria, by driving LGBT persons underground and deterring them from signing up for HIV educational programmes, prevention, treatment and care services. Given that Nigeria currently has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world, this would be a heavy blow to the efforts to combat HIV.
”The law already appears to be having other dangerous side effects, even before it comes into force, with my office receiving reports of widespread arrests of LGBT people in some states, some physical attacks, including by mobs, and other forms of harassment such as a rise in blackmail and extortion. It is for these reasons, among others, that this law has aroused such controversy on the international level.
”As someone who grew up in South Africa under apartheid, and was discriminated against both because of my colour and my gender, I am acutely aware of the terrible effects of discrimination and intolerance.
”The UN Secretary General had roundly condemned the same sex marriage Act because we believe that it contravenes international laws and the African Union Charter which Nigeria signed to.
Thug attacks police station in Lagos, steals DPO’s uniform (Video)
Men of the Lagos Police Command have paraded a hoodlum who attacked and burnt a police station in the state, carting away the DPO’S uniform
The suspect was arrested while rocking the uniform of a DPO.
He was paraded before newsmen by the Lagos state police command today October 27.
Watch a video of him while being paraded along with others below:
Burial arrangements of killed #EndSARS protester, Anthony Unuode, announced
The burial poster of an endSARS protester, Anthony Unuode, who was attacked and stabbed to death by hoodlums in Abuja, has been released by his family members.
Unuode, who joined other Nigerians to protest against police brutality in Kubwa area of Abuja, was attacked and killed by hoodlums who hijacked the peaceful protest.
He was rushed to the hospital where he later died.
He was 28 years old.
According to his obituary, Anthony who was 28 years, will be interred on October 30.
See his obituary below:
Army denies shooting #EndSARS protesters at Lekki tollgate
The Nigerian Army has denied allegations that it shot and killed peaceful end SARS protesters at Lekki toll plaza on October 20.
The denial was disclosed in a statement released by the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army (NA)
The Acting Director Army Public Relations (ADPR), Major Osoba Olaniyi, however, confirmed the involvement of soldiers in restoring order in Lagos following the imposition of a curfew on the state by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Read the statement below:
“The attention of Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral video on social media in which it was alleged that civilian protesters were massacred by soldiers at Lekki Toll Plaza. This allegation is untrue, unfounded and aimed at causing anarchy in the country.
At no time did soldiers of the Nigerian Army open fire on any civilian. From the onset of the ENDSARS protest, there was no time personnel of 81 Division Nigerian Army Lagos were involved.
However, the decision to call in the military was taken by the Lagos State Government (LASG) after a 24- hour curfew was imposed.
This was as a result of the violence which led to several police stations being burnt, policemen killed, suspects in police custody released and weapons carted away.
The situation was fast degenerating into anarchy. It was at this point that LASG requested for the military to intervene in order to restore normalcy.
The intervention of the military followed all laid down procedures for Internal Security operations and all the soldiers involved acted within the confines of the Rules of Engagement (ROE) for Internal Security operations.
Finally, Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army reiterates Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities did not shoot at any civilian as there are glaring and convincing evidence to attest to this fact.
This allegation is the hand work of mischief makers who will stop at nothing to tarnish the image of the Nigerian Army. The general public is hereby enjoined to discountenance this allegation as there is no iota of truth therein.”
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