The planned arraignment of 57 persons accused of being gays by the police on Tuesday was stalled due to lack of space in court.

The arraignment, which was to hold before Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos, could not continue as the court was too small to accommodate all defendants present.

During proceedings, defense counsel, Israel Usman, informed the court that 46 out of 57 of the defendants were in court and ready to be arraigned.

Responding, the judge said only 36 names were listed before him as defendants.

He said, “I am going to record that most of the defendants are present in court because I only have 36 names before me.

“We cannot have 57 persons in this court. We have to look for a day we can use court 2 so it can be convenient for all.”

He also said that since the defendants were all on administrative bail, the adjournment for arraignment would not be unfair to them.

The judge adjourned the case till November 22 for arraignment, while asking that the prosecuting counsel, Joseph Eboseremen, serve all necessary documents on the defense to enable them file all necessary applications on the adjourned date.

The defendants were arrested on August 26, 2018 at about 2:00am at a hotel located in the Egbeda area of Lagos.

The offence they are being charged with is said to be contrary to and punishable under section 5(2) of the same sex marriage (prohibition) Act 2013 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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