Crossdressing not a punishable offence-Police PRO

The Nigeria Police Force, NPF, has clarified its stance on the legality of crossdressing in the country, with spokesman ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi asserting that there exists no legal provision advocating for the arrest of individuals based on their choice of attire.

Adejobi’s statement comes amidst growing concerns and controversies surrounding crossdressing and sexualities, providing clarity on the legal landscape surrounding this issue, saying the crime for which people get arrested has more to do with natural offences or crimes against nature.

Lately Nigerians, particularly on social media have been calling for Bobrisky’s arrest, especially after he was controversially awarded the Best Dressed Female at a Nollywood event.

ACP Adejobi who spoke as a guest  on Channels Television opined that certain cases are hard to prove without evidence, and as such, many who cross-dress are often accused of other crimes, and until proof is found, these individuals cannot be kept behind bars.

“I have not read anywhere that crossdressing is an offence in Nigeria. Let us be reasonable, you cannot arrest somebody you want to prosecute without having credible evidence and as such, crossdressing is not yet a crime in Nigeria.

“Some of them that are into cross dressing, the allegation is that they are into something else, that’s where the problem lies. We need to have enough proof that they are actually into ‘that’. All those offences are natural offences in Nigeria and they are punishable under our laws,” Adejobi stressed.

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He further noted that, while there may be charges that those who cross-dress are also members of the LGBTQ community, there is no concrete evidence to back it up, thus they cannot take them to court.

He further emphasized that even to prove and prosecute anyone for natural offences, the police must have adequate proof that can hold its own in court.

A bill seeking to amend the same-sex Marriage Prohibition Act, 2013 and also outlaw cross-dressing in Nigeria was introduced for first reading at the House of Representatives in April 2022, but was pronounced dead on arrival by many.

Referencing Section 4 of the same-sex Marriage Prohibition Act, 2013, Honorable Muda Lawal Ulnar who sponsored the bill, proposed that cross-dressing whether done privately or publicly, should be prohibited.

He also proposed a 6 months imprisonment or a fine of N500,000 for anyone found guilty.

This bill however, in December of the same year, failed to pass second reading at the House of Representatives. The then Deputy Speaker of the House, Ahmed Wase, advised the sponsor, Muda Umar, to step it down as it does not capture the multi-cultural nature of the country.


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