Homosexuality and African Criminal Justice System: Exploring the Current Laws and Enforcement Regimes in Nigeria


The discussions surrounding the position taken by the various legal systems towards the lifestyles and activities of homosexuals have gained notoriety and remained topical within and outside the academic space. While some nations have reviewed their criminal laws to decriminalize homosexuality in the recent past, others have re-hardened their criminal justice system against it. Most African nations fall in the latter category—Nigeria being the most recent example that enacted new criminal legislation in 2014 prescribing 14 years imprisonment for homosexuality related activities. Within the academic literature, scholars have generally appraised the African legal stance, and particularly the Nigerian regime, from different perspectives: human rights, medical laws, international laws, etc. However, not much research has been devoted to examining the section-by-section terms of the so-called anti-gay legislation in Africa. This paper is exploratory. It selects Nigeria as a case study and examines the scope of her laws on the 'crime' of homosexuality. Whilst references were made to other African countries, the paper isolates the Nigerian criminal laws and justice system and discusses the legal elements of each provision of the criminal laws relating to homosexuality and the crimes they establish. It also investigates the current enforcement mechanisms put in place. By exploring the extant Nigerian 'anti-gay' laws as they are, this paper makes accessible to the international community how the regime expects persons of LGBTQ+ to conduct their lives and businesses within the ambit of the existing laws while the debates to review or repeal the laws continue.

Author Information
Bamikole Martins Aduloju, The Law Firm of Afe Babalola & Co., Company, Nigeria

Paper Information
Conference: IICAH2022
Stream: Sexuality

This paper is part of the IICAH2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Aduloju B. (2022) Homosexuality and African Criminal Justice System: Exploring the Current Laws and Enforcement Regimes in Nigeria ISSN: 2432-4604 – The IAFOR International Conference on Arts & Humanities – Hawaii 2022 Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2432-4604.2022.3
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2432-4604.2022.3

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon