A Federal High Court in Lagos has again adjourned the arraignment of 57 suspected homosexuals till 27th November.
Justice Mohammed Aikawa, who was the Presiding Judge, fixed the date due to absence of nine of the defendants.
The judge directed the prosecution to amend the charge to reflect the names of those defendants who were present to face trial.
It would be recalled that the scheduled arraignment of the defendants could not proceed following a lack of adequate space in the courtroom on November 5.
Justice Aikawa adjourned till Friday at 10 am, for arraignment in a more spacious location. But the case, which was rescheduled for 2:30 pm could not go on.
The defendants are Segun Ode, 24; Afolabi David, 20; Azeez Tunde, 22; Adedokun Pelumi, 22; Smart Joel; 25, Iyodun Ehiosun, 20; Rilwan Jamiu, 24; and Raphael Matthew, 38.
The others include Friday John, 21; Godswill Kola, 22, Chibuike Emmanuel, 23, Prince Collins, 23, Daniel Aya, 22, and Edeh Amarachi, 20.
Also to be arraigned are ; Alozie Innocent’, 21 , Kelvin Nwachukwu, 23, Okekoya Gbemi, ’32, Odika Emmanuel , 25, Kufo Emmanuel, ’27, Adewole Micheal , 27, Kunle Samson, 29, Daniel Soka, 23, Alabi Olamilekan , 21, Oluwaseun Odu , 26, and Oladipo Eniola , 24.
Bobby Moses, 21, Desmond Onuha, ’23, Joseph Victor, 23, Omoniyi Tobi, ’21, Kelvin Abuchi, 22, Mohammed Abubakar 26, Lawal Yusuf, 22, Odusina Micheal, 23, Wole Ojo, 24, Remy Godwin, 21, and Abimbola Damilola, 21, are on the list.
Also named are; Laguda Olamilekan , 23, Alhassan Opeyemi, 23, Samson Ode, 23, Musibau Remi , 33, Ibrahim Yusuf, 24, Olajide Olaide , 23, Isaac Patrick, 23, Wasiu Ajibade, 25, Oguaghanba Onyeka, 41, and Okechukwu Noble , 25.
Balogun Olanyinka, 23, Abioye Wealth Olasunkanmi, 25, Isa Asoma, 25, Rasheed Gbenga, 25, Obiafor James, 20, Jesse Paul 22, Oladipo Femi, 25, Ogunirinde Yusuf 28, Chris Godsent, 23, Solomon showole, 27, Olawale Adebayo 26 and others at large complete the list.
The plea of the defendants will now be taken on November 27.
The police alleged that the defendants were arrested at a Hotel in Egbeda on August 25, 2018, adding that they were picked up at 2 am while performing gay initiation rites for newly recruited members.
They were first arraigned before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.
They all pleaded not guilty to a three-count charge of conspiracy, membership of a secret cult, and unlawful gathering.
Chief Magistrate Kikelomo Ayeye admitted them to bail in the sum of ₦200,000 each, with one surety each in the like sum.
The police, however, filed a one-count charge against the defendants at the Federal High Court.
In the charge marked FHC/1/311c, the police alleged that the defendants made “public show of a same-sex amorous relationship with each other in hidden places within Kelly Hotel” Egbeda.
The police said that the defendants’ actions contravened the provisions of Section 5(2) of the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013.