Three victims told Human Rights Watch that their attackers chanted: “We are doing [President Goodluck] Jonathan’s work: cleansing the community of gays.” Another victim said that the attackers also shouted: “Jungle justice! ” Arbitrary arrest and extortion by police is commonplace under the SSMPA.
Interviewees in Ibadan and other places told Human Rights Watch that they had been detained by the police multiple times since the passage of the SSMPA.
The law has become a tool being used by some police officers and members of the public to legitimize multiple human rights violations perpetrated against LGBT people.
Such violations include torture, sexual violence, arbitrary detention, violations of due process rights, and extortion.
Punitive legal environments, stigma, and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, together with high levels of physical, psychological, or sexual violence against gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), impedes sustainable national responses to HIV.
They were held in police custody for four days, and released, without charge, after paying bribes ranging from 10,000-25,000 Naira (approximately US-64).
These individuals said they had never been subjected to questioning, arrest, or detention prior to the enactment of this law.
They told Human Rights Watch that this was not necessarily a major concern prior to the passage of the SSMPA.
Lesbian and bisexual women in particular reported that fear of being perceived as “guilty by association” led them to avoid associating with other LGBT community members, increasing their isolation and, in some cases, eventually compelling them to marry an opposite-sex partner, have children, and conform to socially proscribed gender norms.