The Premium Times headline of March 18, 2013, “Jonathan pardons homosexual rapist, triggering fresh controversy” smirks of ignorance and irresponsible journalism. President Goodluck Jonathan did not pardon a homosexual; he pardoned a RAPIST who is also a PEDOPHILE. Why do people keep confusing homosexuality with rape and pedophilia?
Homosexuality is CONSENSUAL ADULT same-sex relationship, what has that got to do with sex under duress with under aged, which the facts of Bello Magaji case showed?
Mr. Magaji, a former military police officer attached to the Lagos Garrison Command, was convicted for serial homosexual intercourse with four students of the Army Cantonment Boys Secondary School in Ojo Cantonment in Lagos.
Rape is the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse. There is nothing known as HOMOSEXUAL RAPE, Rape is rape, the gender of the perpetrator or victim has nothing to do with it. Gender or sexual orientation is not the factor that determines if you had been sexually harassed or molested; lack of consent is the decisive factor.
Sexual Orientation i.e. Homosexuality, Bisexuality, Pansexuality or Heterosexuality has nothing to do with sexual harassment. If anyone grabs your ass in public or even in private without your consent, it does not matter whether the person is heterosexual or homosexual; it is sexual harassment and assault.
Pedophilia is the act or fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in sexual activity with a child or children. What connection (if at all) do consenting same-sex adults who want to live their lives together have with a pedophile? None whatsoever!
The facts of the case spoke of how Mr. Magaji intoxicated the young men, all from poor background, with alcohol, making them dizzy and then forcing them to have homosexual intercourse. He would then offer them token financial inducement to meet family obligations.
The Supreme Court report narrated, "The common evidence of Emmanuel and Joseph is that they were asked to drink a bottle each of small stout which intoxicated them; it was in their state of intoxication that the appellant performed the dirty act of sodomy on Emmanuel, and others" The Court report offers, in many of its lines, chilling narratives of Mr. Magaji as a sex pervert.”
There is no heterosexual rape, homosexual rape or Bisexual rape, rape is rape. Why on earth would this be referred to as homosexual rape? Please let Nigerians educate themselves, in my book ‘Freedom To Love ForALL: Homosexuality is Not Un-African' (available on Amazon), I explained the difference between homosexuality, rape, pedophilia and bestiality. I’d recommend the book to every Nigerian.
Also, Nigeria judiciary should wake up from its Stone Age approach to issues of sexual orientation. In 2008, the Supreme Court in their appeal ruling in the case of Mr Mogaji, characterized homosexuality as a “beastly, barbaric and bizarre offence.” A panel of five Justices lead by Justice Niki Tobi subsequently threw out the appeal of the former military police major and affirmed his five-year jail term. The Supreme Court justices should have made it clear the case was not that of homosexuality but of rape and pedophilia.
Justice Niki Tobi , in his judgement said “Carnal knowledge with the male sex is against the order of nature and here, nature should mean God and not just the generic universe that exists independently of mankind or people.” The order of nature is “carnal knowledge with the female sex” he argued in the judgement.
Nigerian judges and lawmakers need to take their religion and God(s) out of our courtrooms and chambers. There should be total separation of state and religion, quoting from your holy books when delivering judgments or making laws, belongs to the dark ages. Your religion is not my law.
This tacit support of Sodomy law is indeed what is bizarre. They need to take a lesson from their counterparts in South Africa!
As Justice Albie Sachs of South Africa said in ‘National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality and Another v Minister of Justice and Others’ –
"The invalidation of anti-sodomy laws will mark an important moment in the maturing of an open democracy based on dignity, freedom and equality. As I have said, our future as a nation depends in large measure on how we manage difference. In the past difference has been experienced as a curse, today it can be seen as a source of interactive vitality. The Constitution acknowledges the variability of human beings (genetic and socio-cultural), affirms the right to be different, and celebrates the diversity of the nation." (CCT11/98)  ZACC 15; 1999 (1) SA 6; 1998 (12) BCLR 1517 (9 October 1998)
I hope Nigerians and the international community see this for what it really is; a presidential pardon of a rapist and pedophile, homosexuality has no business in that headline. Sensational journalism, especially at the expense of a vulnerable group of people should be condemned.
It is indeed sad that most Nigerians are more horrified about the thought of two adult guys having consensual sex than the thought of an adult person intoxicating, raping and taking advantage of a child. In this horrifying case of gross child abuse, all they see is homosexuality. They are not even bothered about the rape or child abuse, just the thought of same-sex persons having sexual intercourse, be it consensual or non consensual.