Police on the trail of suspected Lesbian, Oluwakemi Taiwo

The crackdown on gays and lesbians in Nigeria has further led to the beating and arrest of Doyin Omorinde and Sumbo Salau, two women allegedly caught in the act in Seme, a border town between Nigeria and Republic of Benin. The second suspect, Salau also confessed to having a long standing same sex relationship with Oluwakemi Taiwo, who is presently on the run for fear of arrest and imprisonment.

 All efforts to arrest Oluwakemi Taiwo has proved abortive, the police said.  Sources alleged that a suspect, Salau was tortured by the police before she mentioned Oluwakemi Taiwo as an accomplice in the same sex group.

 A bill was signed into law on January 7th, 2014, to criminalise gay marriage, same-sex “amorous relationships” and even membership of a gay rights group with penalties of up to 14 years in prison.

  Most African countries frown at same sex. In Nigeria, the country ban same sex and also imposed years of imprisonment for anyone involved in it. In Nigeria gays and lesbians also have to battle stigmatization since the act is seen as abomination and alien to African tradition.

 Lesbians, Gay and transgender (LGBT) rights has been battling for survival under the Nigerian law and custom, as the larger society also frowns at it, citing religious and traditional belief as authority.

In July 2017, not less than 42 persons were arrested and charged to court by the police for organizing a gay party at Weigh Bridge Hotel in Owode Onirin area of Lagos state.
 Police spokesman, Olarinde Famous-Cole confirmed the arrest. He said the hotel has been condoned off while investigation continues. The police said the suspected gays were arrested for unnatural sexual relations related offences.

A known Nigerian gay rights activist, Mr. Bisi Alimi has been on the forefront of campaign against legislation that will not allow freedom of gay, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender rights.

Alimi now lives in UK, from where he has continued to campaign for reforms concerning same sex activities and marriages in Nigeria and other African countries. With the ongoing crackdown against gays, aside the legal hurdles that Oluwakemi Taiwo is expected to face when arrested, she will also face several backlash from friends and family.  According to Amnesty International, homosexuality is illegal in many African states and is punishable by death in some countries.

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