The men were arrested in a police raid on a Lagos hotel in 2018 and charged with same-sex public displays of affection, which carries a 10-year prison sentence.
A judge in a Nigerian court on Tuesday threw out a case against 47 men charged with public displays of affection with members of same sex, ending what had widely been seen as a test of the country’s laws banning homosexual relationships.
The Nigerian law banning gay marriage, punishable by up to 14 years in prison, and same-sex “amorous relationships”, prompted an international outcry when it came into force under former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014.
The men were arrested in a police raid on a Lagos hotel in the city’s Egbeda district in 2018. Police said the men were being initiated into a gay club, but the defendants said they were attending a birthday party.
Prosecution and defence lawyers in the case had told Reuters nobody had yet been convicted under the law, which led to the case of the men being widely seen as a test case that could help to establish the burden of proof.