Forty-seven men accused of practicing same-sex relationships have pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa also granted them bail of five hundred thousand naira and one surety each.
Kemi Fola-Adeyemo who covered the proceedings at the Federal High Court, Lagos, reports that fifty-seven men were initially charged, but in the amended charge, 47 of them are now standing trial because the others are at large.
They were all arrested in a police raid at a hotel in Egbeda area of Lagos in the early hours of August 26 last year. The accused said they had only gone for a birthday party, but the Police doesn’t think so.
The defendants, aged between 20 and 38, pleaded not guilty to one count of public show of same sex amorous relationship in hidden places within the hotel. Their lawyers say the police released the females initially arrested with the accused.
Justice Aikawa granted bail of 500,000 and a surety each, who must be a public servant from grade level 10 or a Lagos resident with a proven reasonable means of income. If they don’t meet the bail conditions by Friday, they will be moved from police custody to the correctional centre.
The defence team headed by Israel Usman said his clients cannot meet the terms and will apply for a variation.
The prosecution denies claims that the defendants had initially stood trial at a lagos magistrate court for alleged cultism, and insists on pressing on with this charge against the advice of the Lagos ministry of justice. Hearing continues on December 11 and 12.