Nigerian police arrest anti-gay blackmailer

Charles Henry Chukwuebuka, a Port Harcourt-based anti-gay blackmailer, was arrested Friday by Nigerian police while trying to extort money out of his latest victim.

From the African Human Rights Media Network

Charles Henry Chukwuebuka.

By Mike Daemon

Because of Nigeria’s anti-gay law, LGBT people are often blackmailed and violently attacked by criminals, who typically enjoy impunity from arrest.

It is a problem in many homophobic countries, especially ones with anti-gay laws. [See the list below of related articles from Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana and Jamaica.]

Nigeria map shows coastal locations of Lagos and Port Harcourt.
Nigeria map shows the coastal location of Port Harcourt.

The latest example occurred Friday at Igwuruta in the Port Harcourt area, but this time the outcome was different.

The victim, Moses [not his real name], described the incident in a voice note on WhatsApp.

Narrating his ordeal, Moses said he was lured by Chukwuebuka with erotic messages after they connected and started chatting nicely on Whatsapp. At first, he said, he wasn’t interested in meeting Chukwuebuka, but eventually agreed after he persisted.

Chukwuebuka, who lives in Port Harcourt, goes by the name ‘Charleshenry Chukwuebuka on Facebook and lures his unsuspecting victims via social media.

Moses said upon his arrival at Chukwuebuka’s place at about 11 p.m., he met Chukwuebuka and another young man. They demanded money from him and told him to hand over his phone. Moses refused. The two men then attacked him, smashed his phone and stole his money.

Moses screamed, which alerted the neighbors. Chukwuebuka told them that Moses was gay and that he had traveled all the way to have sex with him.

Unfortunately for him, he had no proof to support his claim. Chukwuebuka had been sending erotic messages to Moses and then had deleted them. Those conversation couldn’t be retrieved on Moses’s phone because it has been destroyed.

Moses observed that the neighbours weren’t taking the matter very seriously, so he asked that they let him put his sim card into one of their phones so that he could alert his parents about what was going on.

He then used that phone to call friendly police officer whom he knew.  After a few minutes as they were still arguing, the police arrived, and Chukwuebuka was arrested and his friend fled the scene.

At the police station, Chukwuebuka was detained and was told to pay 25,000 naira [about $68]. Moses had to pay 12,000 naira [about $32] before he was allowed to go.

Moses’s phone was eventually repaired by Chukwuebuka’s family who came to bail him out from jail but, according to Moses, the police threatened Chukwuebuka with a month in jail.

As at the time of writing this report, Chukwuebuka is still in police custody.

Source: Rights Africa

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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 Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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