Journal of Human Rights and Social Work

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 257–266 | Cite as

The Criminalisation of Consensual Same-Sex Sexual Conduct in Nigeria: a Critique

  • Augustine Edobor ArimoroEmail author


Consensual sexual activity among adults of the same sex has a long history of being criminalised in Nigeria. The passing into law of the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013 by the Nigerian Government is reactionary. It is a statement to the international community and same sex rights groups and activists that Nigeria does not intend to give in to pressure to protect the rights of sexual minorities. Despite the country’s strict anti-Lesbian Gay and Bi-sexual laws, consensual sexual activity among lesbians and among men who have sex with men silently thrives in parts of Nigeria. The objective of this article is to argue that the state needs to re-examine the dangers posed by anti-Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual laws to the lives of sexual minorities as well as their fundamental rights. The methodology adopted for the paper is an analytical/case study approach relying on reports and literature on the subject. The article examines the criminalisation of same-sex sexual relationships, the framework for the protection of the rights of sexual minorities under the Nigerian Constitution and under international instruments and recommends a stop to state-sponsored persecution of sexual minorities in the country. A further recommendation is that issues relating to sexual orientation should remain a matter of conscience for the individual concerned.


LGB Homosexuality Same sex Nigeria Discrimination 



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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Comparative Law in Africa, Faculty of LawUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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