A 24-year-old man, Sunday John, yesterday told police in Lagos that he was lured into a gay club with a promise that he would get the United States (U.S.) visa easily after being initiated as a member.
John said his friend, who was already a member of the club, told him that being a member would give him the opportunity to travel to the U.S.
He said: “Because I wanted to travel to America, I decided to join the group. It was in the process of initiation that policemen stormed the event centre where we converged and arrested some of us. But others escaped when police stormed the venue.
“I did not know this is how it is going to be. I was deceived that we have a lot of benefits being members of the gay group. Now that I have been arrested, I don’t know how my parents would react.
“I only wanted to travel to America to change the fortune of my parents. I regret my action.”
Another suspect, Mr. Joshua Attah, said he went to the event hotel/centre to see his friend who was a member of the group, but did not know that some people were being initiated as gay members.
He said: “If I had known that they wanted to initiate people into gay club, I wouldn’t have gone to the venue to see my friend who invited me. I regret my action.”
However, some other suspects, who spoke with our correspondent, denied being members of gay club. Some of them said they were at the hotel to attend a wedding and a birthday party, not gay club.
One of them, James Obialu, said he was a dancer and had gone to the party to perform before he was arrested.
He said: “I am not gay, I am a dancer and I was there to perform. I am a responsible citizen. I also work at Alimosho General Hospital as counsellor to those living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) because I am also HIV positive.”
Another suspect, Samuel Olarotimi (22), a Mass Communication graduate of Yaba College of Technology, said there were ladies in the hotel but the police did not arrest them.
He said: “I was at the venue 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.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, who paraded the suspects at the command headquarters, Ikeja, said they were arrested at Egbeda area during initiation.
The commissioner said the suspects were arrested on Sunday at 2a.m. after receiving intelligence report about some youths who were about to be initiated into a gay/homosexual club between 1a.m. and 2a.m. at Kelly Ann Hotel/Event Centre, No. 3-7 Adenrele Street, Egbeda.
Edgal said the action was contrary to Section 1 (1) of Same Sex Marriage Act 2014.
He said: “Consequent upon this, operatives led by Divisional Police Officer, Shasha and Divisional Police Officer of Idimu stormed the venue and on arrival, young men numbering about 80 were met in a hall.
“They were taking different types of drinks including banned substance like Tramadol, Shisha laced with substances suspected to be Marijuana.
“As soon as they sighted the police, they ran into different directions but the team was able to arrest 57 of them.”
The commissioner, however, said investigation into the case was ongoing.
He added that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as possible.
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