Three members of a group of vicious anti-gay criminals were apprehended last week at Ibusa town in Delta State, Nigeria.
By Mike Daemon
Members of the gang reportedly were arrested by officers of the Nigeria Security & Civil Defense Corps on Thursday of last week. They were taken to court to face charges of attempted blackmail, but were set free because their victim did not pursue the case.
The criminals are said to have been terrorizing people in the area since last year, especially LGBTIQ persons, who have often been their targets. Their victims are mostly lured from various social media platforms where the criminals set up fake accounts to entrap unsuspecting victims.
In an attempt to put an end to those abuses, delegates from Levites Initiative for Freedom & Enlightenment [LIFFE], a youth-led human rights organization in the Asaba area of Delta State, and the NoStringsNG LGBT advocacy website last year visited the Delta State commissioner of police and the traditional ruler of Ibusa town to make an official report against the group’s criminal activities. The police and the obi (traditional ruler) both promised to take action.
A few weeks after that meeting, some persons were arrested and taken to court on charges of blackmail and extortion. However, the case was later abandoned.
In a further follow-up on the case, on Thursday of last week three members of the gang were apprehended after they attempted to blackmail an elderly married man.
They were charged in court but, unfortunately, the victim did not follow up on the case. As a result, the suspected criminals were freed.
During their interrogation by the security officials, they confessed to the crime, and admitted that they have been blackmailing and extorting LGBTIQ folks for a while.
On the video, one of the criminals says (translated here from the Pidgin he is speaking):
“We beat him and asked him to pay us to free him. He asked his wife to transfer 28,000 [naira, about U.S. $75] to us. We know what we have done is bad and we want others to stop it, but we do it because we do not like that some men are sexually attracted to other men.”
See the video of that confession below.