Nigerian’s choice: Prison for gay sex or pay blackmail?

Location of Sapele in Nigeria (Map courtesy of World Atlas)
Location of Sapele in Nigeria (Map courtesy of World Atlas)

Nigerian police have filed charges against the reported victim of a blackmailer who forced him to choose between paying hush money or facing homosexuality charges.

The man, arrested last month in Sapele, Delta State, Nigeria, was accused of “having carnal knowledge against the order of nature.” That is a crime punishable by 14 years in prison under Section 214 of the Nigerian criminal code.

The defendant, identified by the pseudonym Precious, gave his account of the incident to the Nigerian LGBT website NoStringsNG.com.

Apparently only Precious was charged.

Precious said that after he met a man and connected with him, the man claimed that Precious forced him into having sex — but the whole encounter was arranged by the mother of the blackmailer.

“It is what they do,” Precious said. “I discovered this after the whole incident. They blackmail people and get them into paying them money out of fear.”

After Precious refused to pay blackmail, he was arrested and charged at the Sapele Magistrate Court, he said.

He has appeared in court six times and his family has paid more than 120,000 naira (US $380) for his defense, Precious said. His defense is complicated by the fact that he confessed to a police commissioner that the same-sex affair had occurred, he said.

He is scheduled to appear again at the Magistrate’s Court in Sapele on Dec. 6, NoStringsNG.com reported.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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