The men, after being tortured and paraded by the residents, were taken to the police station in the community.
The Imo State police, however, said though they have commenced investigations on the gay allegations, they released the men immediately.
Residents of Ekwe community in Isu Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State early in the week said they caught the three men having sex with themselves. They beat the men, stripped them naked and paraded them round the community before taking them to the police station.
Though the police said they released the men promptly, pending investigations, reports from the community indicates that the men were later held hostage after the incident.
The whereabouts of the men is yet to be confirmed.
Despite several pictures of the men being paraded naked in the community, the Imo State Police said it is not aware of such.
Imo State police spokesperson, Vitalis Onugu, while speaking to PREMIUM TIMES said the men were not stripped naked as earlier reported and investigations are still ongoing.
“They were not stripped naked none that I’m aware of anyway, but there was a report made yesterday (Wednesday) to the police of such an incident of having sex against the law,” Mr. Onugu said.
When asked on the whereabouts of the suspects, Mr. Onugu said that they were released after the report was made and statements written and that the suspects were not being held by the people of the community as earlier reported.
When PREMIUM TIMES sought to know when next the suspects are expected at the police station for the police to confirm their state of health and location, the spokesperson said it depends on the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the police station to determine when and how often the men will be invited by the police.
“It all depends on the DPO to call them up at anytime for any
clarification as the need arises, and if there’s any evidence against them during the course of the investigation, they’ll be charged to court but where there’s none they’ll be free,” he said.
The Nigerian National Assembly is working on a law to prohibit same sex marriage in the country.
The bill passed its first reading last year. The anti-gay rights position is very popular in Nigeria as it aligns with popular religious, cultural and moral principles of majority of Nigerians.
Opponents of the law say it violates fundamental human rights.
The law effectively invalidates and criminalises gay marriages entered into outside Nigeria and practised within the country. It also criminalises gay clubs, societies and organization, gay dating and public display of affection by gays as well as witnesses to gay marriages in Nigeria.
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