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Nigeria: Pastor Goes to Jail on Account of Same Sex Conduct

The Founder and General Overseer of a Pentecostal Church in Benin City, Nigeria, Pastor Phillip Ogbebor is an  inmate at the federal medium security prison, Oko after  a magistrate court ordered that he be remanded for having sex with a male member of his Church.

The pastor  did not the allegation of homosexuality saying  “I am only passing through temptation, my lover is 22 years old,  let God decide my case.”

The Pastor  was apprehended recently by men of the State Criminal Investigation Department of the Edo state police command following a complaint lodged by the father of the 22-year-old.

The pastor has been arraigned before a Magistrate court in Benin city on a  charge bordering on  indecent assault contrary to Sections 214(1) and 353 of the constitution respectively.

The Magistrate  ordered the detention of the Man of God at the Oko medium security prison in the state capital pending the commencement of trial.

Same sex relationships is an offence in Nigeria under the Sharia and Penal Codes of Northern Nigeria referred to Sodomy.

Recently the Nigeria Parliament passed the Same Sex Marriage Bill which criminalized Same Sex Conduct or advocacy for the recognition of gay rights. The parliament based its decision  on cultural and religious grounds.

The Nigerian President is yet to assent to the Bill, which when assented to will make same Sex conduct/relationship and advocacy for rights of Gays punishable with 14 years imprisonment.

Nigeria is slated for review by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in October 2013 where the issue of same sex conduct and rights thereof is expected to form part of the human rights issue to be considered.

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