No fewer than 57 out of about 100 suspected intending members of the club were arrested while others escaped.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Imohimi Edgal, who paraded the suspects, said on August 26, at about 3:00a.m. intelligence gathered revealed that some youths (males) were about to be initiated into a gay/homosexual club between 1:00a.m. and 2:00a.m. at Kelly Ann Hotel/Event Centre, in Egbeda, an action contrary to section 1 (1) of Same Sex Marriage Act 2014.
But some of the suspects, who spoke to reporters, denied being homosexuals, insisting they were at the hotel for different purposes including wedding, trading and leisure, among others.
Among those arrested were Prince Collins, 23; Emmanuel Odiza, 25; Ola Rotimi; Miracle Onyeka; Wole Ojo, 24; Daniel Sukari; Wealth Olasunkanmi, 25, and one James.
The police boss said: “Operatives led by DPO Shasha and DPO Idimu stormed the venue at 2:00a.m.
On arrival, young men numbering about 80 were met in a hall taking different types of drinks, including banned substance like Tramadol and Shisha, laced with substances suspected to be Marijuana.
As soon as they sighted the police, they ran into different directions. However, the team arrested 57 of them.”
The CP said the essence of parading the suspects was to sensitize the public about the new wave of crime in the state.
“The youths have graduated from cultism to homosexuality.
This is a dangerous dimension. We must stop them before they infiltrate our streets and schools.
This war against gay should not be left for the security agencies alone.
We are fighting cultism, drugs and at the same time homosexuality. I think all hands must be on the deck to stop this act.
Information was received from a sister agency, it is commendable.
I appeal to members of the public to emulate the informant and give us reasonable information that will lead to the arrest of suspected gays. We are on the trail of others now on the run.
I want to advise parents to be wary of the people their children move with and where they go to at a particular time. Investigation into the case is ongoing.”
Speaking with one of the suspects, Madu, who was adorning a female dress, lipsticks and eyelids, he said: “Actually, I came for initiation.
I was invited by one James.
He told me that there was going to be initiation. He told me to dress like a woman.
When I asked why I should accompany him, he said through the club, we would secure visa to USA and Canada.
“We were waiting for the master who would initiate us when the police stormed and arrested us.
I cannot say that everyone arrested came for the same purpose, but majority of us came for the initiation.
Brother James introduced me to so many of them who came for initiation.
I am very sorry for what happened. I did not know anything about gay.
It was James that said we could secure visa with the club, but see where he has landed me”.
Another suspect simply named Collins said he was a food vendor in front of the hotel, adding that he was arrested where he plied his trade.
“I sell food in front of the hotel. When police came, they said I am under arrest and I followed them as a law-abiding citizen.
There were many women in and outside the hotel but they were not arrested. I am innocent.”
Odiza said he was at the hotel to attend a birthday party, claiming he knew nothing about the gay club initiation.
Rotimi, a student, said he was also at the hotel for a birthday party, wondering why the police did not arrest women who were there.
James said he was at the hotel to perform a dance, saying that was how he earned his living.
For Olasunkanmi, he was at the hotel for a birthday party, adding that he was invited by a friend, Muyiwa.
“I went for a birthday party. There were many males and females there.
Even Muyiwa that invited me was not arrested. It was a raid. I did nothing wrong.
I was piping Shisha, which isn’t a crime. I did not add anything in the Shisha.
There was no initiation going on. I think they found the Tramadol in someone’s pocket.”