The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Edgal Imohimi, confirmed the arrest to newsmen during a news conference on Monday. He said that the suspects were picked up on Sunday at 2 a.m. while they were performing gay initiation rites for newly recruited members.
“Intelligence gathered revealed that some youths will be initiated into a Gay/Homosexual Club between 1 a.m and 2 a.m. at Kelly Ann Hotel/Events Centre, located at No. 3-7, Adenrele St., Egbeda, an action contrary to Section 1 (1) of Same Sex Marriage, Act 2014.
“Consequent upon this, some operatives from the Shasha and Idimu Police stations stormed the venue and met no less than 80 young men.
“They were taking different types of drinks, including banned substances such as Tramadol, and Shisha laced with substances suspected to be marijuana.
“As soon as they sighted the Police, they ran into different directions, but the team arrested 57 of them,” he said.
The CP said that investigation into the case was ongoing and that the suspects would be charged to court soon.
But some of the suspects who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria denied the allegations.
They said that they were at the hotel to attend a wedding and birthday parties. One of the suspects, James Obialu, said that he was a dancer and had come to the party to perform before he was arrested.
“I’m not gay, I’m a dancer and I was there to perform before I was arrested. I’m a responsible citizen and I work at the Alimosho General Hospital as a counsellor for those living with HIV,” he said.
Another suspect, Samuel Olarotimi, 22, a graduate of Mass Communication from the Yaba College of Technology, said that there were other females in the hotel who were not arrested.
“I was there for a birthday party which started late. About eight ladies were at the bar with us, while some other ladies were dressing up in their rooms.
“I don’t know why the Police refused to arrest the females but brought us here as alleged homosexuals,” he said.
One of them, Bob China, said that he accompanied his friend, a caterer, to deliver food at the party but was arrested while waiting outside the hotel.