A Nigerian conman successfully blackmailed Muslim state governors by threatening to release mocked-up computer images of them cavorting with prostitutes, secret police said on Wednesday after his arrest.
Kano, Nigeria - A Nigerian conman successfully blackmailed Muslim state governors by threatening to release mocked-up computer images of them cavorting with prostitutes, secret police said on Wednesday after his arrest.
Sadiq Dalhatu, head of the State Security Service in the northern city of Kano, told reporters that 35-year-old Musa Baffa Bashir had warned the leaders that he had been paid by their opponents to create fake nude pictures of them.
He targeted seven governors from Nigeria's conservative north who had backed the reintroduction of Islamic law - which prescribes the death penalty for adultery - and would have been highly embarrassed if the snaps became public.
Four of the seven had already paid Bashir 500 000 naira each before Governor Adamu Aliero of Kebbi State tipped off security agents, who set up a sting operation to capture him, Dalhatu said.
"We were briefed and the governor played along by asking the suspect to name a place where someone would meet him with 500 000 naira," Dalhatu said, at a news conference where the suspect was paraded before journalists.
"He named a hotel in Kano where our men went under the guise of giving him the money and arrested him," he added.
Bashir said he has resorted to blackmail after his business failed, but would not say what this business had been.
"I couldn't pay my rent and I was unable to feed my family. I took advantage of my earlier contacts with the governors and concocted these lies to make ends meet," he said.
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