This is the kind of experience that you realize should’ve never happened when you’re in hindsight, recounting the story.
He sent me a friend request on Facebook as Frank Sandra, and I accepted. We started chatting, and it wasn’t very long before we established the fact that we were both into guys and might be interested in a hookup. And so we moved over to WhatsApp, and his number was a foreign one, +1 (267) 277-6512. He said he was based in America and would be coming in the following Wednesday. We exchanged pictures and his were those of a very gorgeous light-skinned man – which matched the few he had on his Facebook profile. He said he was versatile, and I told him I am Top. We chatted a bit on WhatsApp and exchanged a few nude pictures. But because it seemed he wanted someone he’d fuck, I connected him to my friend (let’s call him Amara).
Frank and Amara carried on chatting, with me learning the progress of their interaction from Amara. Amara saw his pictures and was instantly smitten. During their communication, he (Amara) also sent Frank nude pictures and videos of him wanking. Amara tried to get the both of them to do video calls, but Frank always declined, claiming he was too busy. That was supposed to be the first red flag that this Frank Sandra was not all that he purported to be.
The Wednesday that Frank was supposed to come to Nigeria came, and he and Amara began to plan in earnest for Amara to come visit him in Abuja from Aba. Per their arrangement that he’d pay Amara’s fare to Abuja, he sent my friend a GIGM online booked bus ticket. Amara was scheduled to leave Aba for Abuja on Thursday morning. Frank had also told Amara that when he gets to Abuja, a friend of his would come and pick him up from the terminal. However, when he got to the terminal in Aba and provided the booking number for the GIGM terminal attendant, he was told that it was an old booking number that had been used by someone who traveled from Enugu to Abuja.
When Amara buzzed Frank to inform him of what had happened, he was profuse with his apologies, claiming that it was his friend who purchased the ticket and that he must have made a mistake. Then he urged Amara to pay for the fare, promising to pay him back double when he gets to Abuja. All Amara had in his account at the time was 8 grand; the fare to Abuja was 7200, and so he paid and set off for Abuja.
He got to Abuja by 7pm. Some minutes after alerting Frank to his arrival, he was located by the ‘friend’ – a slightly tattered-looking, dark-complexioned young man, bald-headed with a Rick Ross beard, who came to pick him up with a private car. He drove him to a house that appeared to be a family house and quietly snuck Amara in through the back door to a small parlour-and-one-bedroom flat downstairs. The place was barely furnished; according to Amara, it looked like some of the furniture had been moved out, except for a bed, a small plasma television and a near-empty wardrobe.
Amara was hungry and asked for some food. This friend, whose name Amara didn’t bother to ask seeing as he wasn’t the one he was there to see, said he’d get his dinner for him, asking him to relax and wait. Amara waited endlessly. No one came back with any food, and eventually, by 1am, he fell into an exhausted sleep.
Around 3am, he was woken up by this ‘friend’. He hadn’t come with food – oh no. he’d instead come with a boner. He wanted to have sex with Amara. Filled with affront and still very hungry and tired, Amara shut him down. The guy didn’t attempt to force himself on him and left the room immediately after. Very early in the morning, around 5am, he came back again, wanting to have sex with Amara. This time, Amara acquiesced and they shagged. After the sex, he gave Amara bread to eat, saying he should have that while he prepared breakfast for him.
All this time, Amara had been trying to reach Frank on WhatsApp to no avail. He didn’t have a number to call him with because Frank had told him he was yet to purchase a Nigerian number. So all they had was WhatsApp, and Frank didn’t respond until the next day, after Amara had found himself waiting and waiting again for the food his ‘friend’ promised. Frank reassured him that he couldn’t wait to see him and that he should be patient, that his ‘friend’ would bring him to his hotel in the evening.
Eventually, by 8pm, the ‘friend’ came to see Amara and told him to get dressed, that he’d be taking him to go see Frank in his hotel room. Andin the same way he was brought in, the guy snuck him out of the house quietly. They got into the car and drove off. For about 40 minutes, the guy drove and drove, taking turn after turn in such a way that Amara began to suspect that this was a ruse intended for him not to remember the way back to the house they left.
Eventually, they got to the hotel, and the guy began fussing, like he had a phone call to answer. He told Amara to go on up to the restaurant, that Frank would be there waiting for him. Amara went up, located the restaurant, and saw no one remotely resembling Frank Sandra in there. He waited for about twenty minutes, messaging Frank on WhatsApp as he waited. And even though his messages were read, Frank didn’t reply. Then he tried calling the ‘friend’ and his calls kept getting cut off.
At this point, he began to realize what a mess of a situation he was in. And so he called me and told me what was happening. He was hysterical. I calmed him down some, and then sent him 6grand. He took a cab to bus terminal and got into a night bus bound for Aba.
He got back to Aba and we got together. After doing some digging and piecing our findings together with some things Amara was able to recollect from his brief stay in Abuja, we began to get a picture that was more accurate than what we had before: there was no Frank Sandra coming from America; Frank was the same person as the ‘friend’, who was both driver and manservant to the household where he took Amara to; he’d travelled once to the USA with his boss, and while he was there, obtained a US number, with which he opened a WhatsApp account. The pictures he used to drum up interest in him very possibly belonged to someone who didn’t even know his pictures were being used to catfish gay men in Nigeria.
Now, we were preparing to write the entire episode off as a lesson learned, when the guy texted me and then Amara on WhatsApp with blackmail. He asked for 30 grand from each of us, threatening to post our nude pictures and Amara’s wank videos online if we didn’t comply. Then he gave us a week to raise the money and there ended the message. I didn’t feel threatened by any exposure because the only remotely identifying factor on the one nude photo I sent him was my chin and the ends of my dreadlocks hanging down across my shoulder. Amara was the one who was in trouble, because the videos had him full-faced and masturbating.
But he also knew enough to call the guy’s bluff. He could recall the directions to the house in Abuja and when he responded to the guy, told him that if he backed him to the wall, he would gladly come back to Abuja to his employer’s house and expose his treachery. There was a tense exchange as the guy lashed back, and Amara counter-threatened him some more.
The chatversation ended on an open-ended note, with the guy neither conceding defeat nor pushing ahead with his threat. However, he sent the blackmail messages on Sunday, and we have a week. So we are waiting to see him do his worst.
Written by Dreads