Journalist attacked over alleged same-sex relationship


A Lagos-based freelance journalist has escaped death by the whiskers following a mob attack by an irate mob in the Isheri-Oshun area of Lagos State, over alleged indulgence in homosexual activities.

Narrating his ordeal from a private hospital where he was receiving treatment, the victim, who wished to be identified as Chris for safety reasons, said his attackers accused him of being in a gay.

He explained that the latest attack on him was not the first as he was also attacked sometime in 2018  in Imo, his home state.

He noted that since Nigeria enacted the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act in 2014 by President Goodluck Jonathan, those who show attributes or are perceived to be members of Lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender, LGBT, have been ridiculed, attacked and dehumanized in the country.

He said: “Shortly after I came back from my late mother’s  burial and memorial activities during the new year’s festivities in Imo, I decided to catch up with a few friends within my vicinity.  Unfortunately, one of the boys that have turned himself into a menace in the area known as Alaye, and whom I have had a few confrontations with in the past over his incessant harassment about my sexual orientation, mobilized his gang and attacked me.

“This occurred on a Sunday evening of January 28, 2023.  They emerged from a bar shop close by, encircled me and started hitting me with their bare hands, clubs, and sticks before I could say a jack. The beating was ferocious and intense. I don’t know what could have been my fate if not for the intervention of some people in the area who recognized me and freed me from them. If not for the grace of God, I would have been dead by now.

Chris also recalled that he was attacked in Ohi, a suburb of Owerri, the Imo State capital sometime in 2018. According to him, the incessant inhuman treatment he was meted out forced him to leave his job with the Imo State government and fled to Lagos.

“Yes, I left my job with my state government as a civil servant because of frequent attacks and embarrassment I received from people. I left Owerri for Lagos hoping that things would be better but I was wrong. Me and my friends are being hunted at every turn. We are taunted and jeered at

“I’m exhausted, I’m depressed. My family is not happy that I always bring shame to them. I am tired, I don’t know what else to do. My life is no longer safe. How long will I continue to run?”, he cried.

Asked if he had reported the matter to the police, Chris retorted: “How could I do that? Are you not in this country? Do you want the police to arrest and prosecute me? I sincerely wish I could report to the authorities but I’m afraid it will compound my problems.”

Recall that same-sex relationship is strictly prohibited in Nigeria following the enactment of the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act in 2014.

The law criminalizes the solemnization, operation, and public display of same-sex marriages and imposes a 10-year prison sentence on anyone who “registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations” or “supports” the activities of such organizations. Punishments are severe, ranging from 10 to 14 years in prison.

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