A young Nigerian man was blackmailed and held for ransom after he refused to have sex with his blackmailer.
The events reportedly unfolded on Jan. 7 in Lagos when *Kingsley [not his real name], a budding actor, went to have his hair cut. At the barber shop, he met a man who recognized him from Facebook and, after a brief conversation, they exchanged phone numbers.
Kingsley said the stranger started calling him, saying that he was interested in acting and asking that they meet and talk.
When Kingsley visited the man at his residence at Igando-Ikotun in the Lagos area, the man quickly locked the door and requested that they have sex, but Kingsley declined. The stranger said that he knew Kingsley was gay because he had been following him on Facebook.
The two men argued and fought. The man, who was older and stronger than Kingsley, overpowered him, forcefully pulled his clothes off and started taking pictures of him while he was naked.
He then said that if Kingsley did not have sex with him, he would alert friends who he said were already waiting outside and tell them to enter the home, rape Kingsley and publicly disgrace him for being gay.
If Kingsley did not give him N50,000 (US $138), the stranger said, Kingsley would be outed publicly as gay and the photographs would be circulated online and sent to his family and police. Afraid, Kingsley called a friend and convinced him to pay the money. Once he received the money, the stranger stole Kingley’s phone and set him free.
Under Nigerian law, blackmail and extortion are punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
Nigerian LGBT rights activist Noble Charles Samuel said such cases are common in several parts of the country. No one has been able to rein in the gangs of blackmailers and extortionists who operate in Nigeria, he said.
“We have similar gangs in Ibusa in Delta state and in Aba in Abia state,” the activist said.
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