A mob armed with wooden clubs and iron bars, screaming that they were going to "cleanse" their neighbourhood of gay people, have dragged 14 young men from their beds and assaulted them.
Four of the victims were marched to a police station, where they were allegedly kicked and punched by police who yelled pejoratives at them, Ifeanyi Orazulike of the International Centre on Advocacy for the Right to Health said on Saturday.
Police threatened the men would be incarcerated for 14 years, he said, the maximum prison sentence under Nigeria's new Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, dubbed the "Jail the Gays" law.
Activists have warned the law could trigger attacks such as the one perpetrated early on Thursday in Abuja, the capital of Africa's most populous nation.
Mob justice is common in Nigeria and civil rights organisations have been warning for years of an increase in community violence and the government's failure to curb acts in which people have been beaten to death for perceived crimes such as theft.
"Since the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act was signed, we have expressed concern as a friend of Nigeria that it might be used by some to justify violence against Nigerians based on their sexual orientation," the US Embassy said in a statement Friday.
"Recent attacks in Abuja deepen our concern on this front."
Orazulike said he got a panicked email from a colleague who said he was hiding from a mob of 40 people who struck around 1 am Thursday, going from house to house saying their mission was "to cleanse" the area of gays.