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5 Aug 2017

Lagos Arraigns Hotel Owner, Workers for Aiding Homos*xuality

The owner of a hotel in Lagos where several youths were allegedly participating in homos*xuality is also on trial for condoning and promoting the illicit act.

The Lagos State Government on Friday arraigned the owner of Vintage Hotel in Owode Onirin area of Ikorodu, Chief Patrick Okeze, before a Yaba Magistrates’ Court for allegedly aiding and promoting homosexuality and running a gay club in his hotel.

Okeze was arraigned along with two of his workers, Sunday Isang and Bright Oba, for allegedly encouraging the illegal act to be perpetrated by young men and minors in the hotel, contrary to the provisions of Same S*x Marriage (Prohibition) Act of 2014.

The state government had on Thursday arraigned 28 adults and 12 minors before Yaba and Ebute-Metta Magistrates’ Courts respectively, for engaging in homos*xuality, using the said hotel, a statement by the Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi, said on Friday.
Specifically, Okeze and his workers were said to have aided 40 people and others still at large, to engage in homosexuality and have a gay party at the hotel.

After the one count against Okeze (56), Isang (30) and Oba (28) was called and read before Chief Magistrate Adewale Ojo, the defendants were not allowed to take their plea because the court lacked the jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter.

The prosecution team, which included Adetutu Oshinusi, Bosun Aroyehun, Folabi Sholebo, Olaitan Shoetan and Nnena Okereka, all from the state’s Directorate of Public Prosecution, urged the court to remand the defendants in prison pending the outcome of the legal advice of the DPP.

But the defence team, led by Mr. Alli Abba, urged the court to discountenance the application of the prosecution and admit the defendants to bail, as the offence under which they were charged, was bailable.

In his ruling, Ojo held that in view of the provisions of Section 264 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State, he found merit in the application for the defendants to be remanded pending the DPP’s advice.

The court said having examined the affidavit in support of the application for remand, it found “sufficient merit” in it, and ruled that: “It is hereby ordered that the 1st,  2nd  and 3rd defendants be remanded in prison custody pending their legal advice.”

The Magistrate also adjourned the matter to September 4, 2017.

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