Compendium of Laws: Discriminating against Persons based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression in Nigeria

Despite the political and religious support for the criminalisation of same sex relationships and homosexual conduct, Nigeria's constitutional document as well as its commitments under international law, remain favorably disposed to principles of constitutional democracy, human rights and human dignity. It is on this premise that section 21 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 ("Nigerian Constitution") requires the state to protect, preserve and promote only these aspects of the Nigerian cultures that enhance human dignity and are consistent with the fundamental objectives of the Nigerian Constitution. It is against the backdrop of this constitutional and international framework, as well as Nigeria's pre-colonial context that this paper examines some of the discriminatory laws against sexual minorities in Nigeria.