53 persons were arraigned on Wednesday before a Magistrates’ Court in Chediya-Zaria, Kaduna State, after they were allegedly arrested during a gay marriage in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the police prosecutor, Mannir Nasir, as saying that the accused were arrested on April 15 at Zaria Motel and were being charged for conspiracy, unlawful assembly and belonging to a gang of unlawful society.
He said the offences contravened Sections 97, 100 and 197(a) of Criminal Procedure Code, CPC.
“On April 15, 2017 at about 2100 hours a team of policemen led by DSP Muhammad Lawal-Mashi arrested and brought to police station 53 persons.
“The arrested persons included; Jibril Abdullahi, Sagir Abubakar, Anas Mohammed, Mustapha Ababukar, Musa Ibrahim and Suleiman Usman among others, all of various addresses.
“Information reached the police that these group of persons conspired to celebrate a gay marriage at Zaria Motel between one Faruk and Sanusi both at large,” the police prosecutor said.
The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and their counsel, Yunusa Umar asked the court to release them on bail in line with sections 35 (4) and 36 (5) of the Constitution.
Mr. Umar lamented that the accused persons were detained in police custody for more than 24 hours contrary to the provisions of section 341 of CPC.
“My worship all the 53 accused persons have been detained for three days and most of them are students’’ he said.
He argued that their bail was necessary in order to obtained detail information and more evidences for defence, assuring the court that the accused persons would not jump bail conditions or temper with investigations by the police.
In his ruling, the Chief Magistrate, Auwal Musa-Aliyu, granted bail to the accused persons in the sum of N500,000 each, with one surety each in the like sum, who must be a blood relation to the accused.
He ordered that each surety must present two passport size photographs, valid identity card, bank account number, letter of credence from a traditional ruler, a 2015 utility bill and a valid GSM number.
The Chief Magistrate adjoined the case till May 8, for further hearing.