Federal High Court Dismisses Pro-Same Sex Marriage Suit

Federal High Court Dismisses Pro-Same Sex Marriage Suit

By Eseme MacDonald | Associate Editor on October 23, 2014
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Apprentice, Lagos, Court
Photo Credit: Shutter Stock

The Federal High Court, Abuja Division Wednesday, October 22, 2014, threw out an action, contesting the constitutionality of the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013, Guardian reports.

According to the plaintiff, Mike Enahoro Ebah, the Act which maintains a punishment of 14 years imprisonment for persons who practice homosexuality is a breach on citizens’ fundamental human rights as embedded in the constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The trial Judge, Justice Abdu Kafarati, who ruled the “preliminary objection brought by the Federal Government against Ebah’s suit” opined that the plaintiff does’t have the legal right to file a suit on behalf of other nationals.

Furthermore, the court disclosed that according to the law, Ebah was supposed to provide an evidence before the court to show that “he had suffered or was about to suffer from the implementation of the Act”.

The judge said: “There is no doubt that fundamental rights derived from the constitution but law or provision of any law must be in conflict with the provisions of the constitution.

“This is a fundamental right action and the applicant must show that he has suffered from the action of the defendant or is about to suffer an injury.

“The applicant in this case has no locus standi to sue on behalf of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender Community (LGBT).

“In the final analysis, the  case is accordingly struck out.”

Ebah had in an affidavit in support of his suit deposed as follows: “that‎ Nigerians, particularly those whose sex is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender are by natural design, biologically and physiologically, without any fault of theirs, share unique sexual orientation.

“I know as a fact that there is a constitutional provision in Nigeria which forbids discrimination against any Nigerian on the basis of their sex, community and/or circumstances of their birth.

“That I know as a fact that the recently assented Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013, by the President Jonathan violates the Nigerian Constitution which forbids discrimination against any Nigerian by virtue of their sex, community and/or circumstances of their birth. …

“That I know as a fact that Individuals do not choose their sexual orientation, be you straight, gay, lesbian or bisexual. It is not a matter of choice. You are who you are. By circumstance of our Birth, we are born straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

“That I know as a fact that the sexual orientation of a citizen of Nigeria does not impair upon his or her ability to participate fully in all economic and social activities and/or institutions in Nigeria or elsewhere in the world.”

While accusing the proponents of the” new law of attempted genocide”, he opined, “That I am aware that since the inception of Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013, an estimated number of about Thirty Eight (38) Nigerians have been arrested in about four (4) states of the federation on the basis of their sexual orientation.

“That I am aware that in Bauchi alone, an estimated number of about 12 Nigerians were arrested and subjected to prosecution on the basis of their sexual orientation.

“That I verily believe that this arrest, persecution and prosecution of these Nigerians is an attempt at genetic genocide meant to exterminate these Nigerians.”

 

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