A court in Nigeria, on Tuesday 27th October 2020, dismissed a case in which 47 adult men were charged under the country’s anti-gay law. The men were accused of public displays of affection with members of same sex.

In the ruling, the  judge Justice Rilwan Aikawa said prosecutors had failed to appear in court and also failed to call witnesses in the trial, and he therefore saw no further reason to carry the case forward. Prosecutors failed to attend the hearing at the Federal High Court in Lagos, having previously failed to present witnesses in a case that had been adjourned on several occasions.

The men were arrested in a police raid on a Lagos hotel in the city’s Egbeda district in 2018. Police officers claimed the accused were being initiated into a gay club, but the defendants said they were attending a birthday party.

The Nigerian law bans gay marriage and same-sex “amorous relationships, which are punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

It should be noted, no one has been convicted under this law since it came into effect in 2014 although it is one of the greatest threats to Nigeria’s LGBT community. This was the first case to be tried under this law in Nigeria’s courts of law. The African movement as a while continues to channel most of its efforts towards getting rid of the laws across the continent that criminalize homosexuality