On 27th of December, 2016, some angry mobs beat-up a gay man, named, Onyeka Peter, at Costain Road in Benin City, Edo state. He was reported to be one of the two homosexuals, who escaped arrest with his partner, Okonkwo Arinze, on 9th of May, 2016 at No. 12 Ikpoba Slope, Edo state.

According to our reporter, the mobs attacked Onyeka when he came out from a hideout to pickup his personal belongings from his house in Edo state. An eye witness, Mr. Wale, who was said to be a resident of the street where the incident happened revealed that the police, local securities and the mobs have been searching for them since May, 2016, when they escaped arrest.

According to Mr. Wale, the mobs wanted to burn Onyeka alive but the local security and the police whisked him away.

After some hours, a report had it that Onyeka jumped out from the back of the van in which he was being conveyed by the authority. When we contacted the security, the spokesman of the agency said that “Onyeka jumped out from the back of the van on a very busy express way and we couldn’t stop easily on the highway to avoid causing an accident”.

He also assured the public that they would make sure that they locate both him and his partner, Okonkwo Arinze.
It can be recalled that six of these suspected gay gang members have been arrested by the policemen from the office of the Zone 5 Police Headquarters in Benin City, Edo state on 9th of May, 2016. Assistant Inspector of Police, (AIP) in charge of the zone, Alhaji Musa Daura, who made the information known while answering questions from the journalists, said that the arrest was carried out by the operatives of the Zonal Anti-Vice Section, acting on a reliable information. He gave the names of the suspects as Festus Osagiede, male (24); Hyacinth Vincent Omahanrebho, male (20); Itama Omon, male (25); Onwuka Prince, male (48); Monye Samuel Chukwuka, male (23); and Osadebe Kelvin, male (26). He further disclosed that five of the suspects were apprehended at their hideouts along No. 12 Ikpoba Slope, while Osadebe Kelvin was later picked up somewhere behind Benson Idahosa University on Wednesday, 11th of  May, 2016 at about 0600hours while trying to escape out of Benin City.

The Assistant Inspector of Police used the opportunity to reiterate that homosexuality is a serious offence in Nigeria against humanity and nature, and an abominable act that should be condemned in every ramification by all. He advised parents and guardians to always monitor their wards and children. Furthermore, he implored the local securities, the community and individuals to continue in their quest to support police in fighting the evil menace.

It will be recalled that in January 2014, former President Goodluck Jonathan signed a new law that makes it illegal for anyone to be a gay and even to hold a gay meeting in any part of Nigeria. The Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act also criminalizes homosexual clubs, associations and organizations, with penalties of up to 14 years in jail.

Story by Prince U. C. Augustine.

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