Former Premier League football star and presenter of Gladiators TV show John Fashanu was locked up in a Nigerian cell with 200 other prisoners after being accused of a land scam, it has been revealed.
Fashanu was arrested at his home on the Sun City Estate in Abuja and detained on suspicion of ‘criminal conspiracy’.
The police claim that Fashanu was acting for a friend, who was looking to acquire some land in Nigeria, and was given almost £20,000 to fix the deal.
Fashanu’s friend told The Mirror that it was a business deal “between friends which went south” and police were asked to “mediate”.
It is claimed that the former footballer informed the prospective purchaser that two men were able to help him buy ‘forgotten land’, but the would-be buyer later discovered the land was not for sale.
It is understood the 54-year-old ex-football player has agreed to pay the money back, but has denied any wrongdoing.
Nigerian police deputy inspector General Hyacinth Dagala told the press: “John Fashanu was arrested on July 17 in connection with an allegation of criminal conspiracy and obtaining the sum of N9,550,000 [£19,780] under false pretence.
“He was granted administrative bail on July 18 but because of his inability to produce the requisite surety on that day, he remained in detention until July 19 when he was released.”
Nigerian barrister Hyp Egbune added: “The person who made the complaint has been a mutual friend for quite a number of years and we are more interested in keeping that relationship so we are making amends.
“We hope to do that as soon as we can. It is quite a lot of money so we hope to do it as soon as we can. We want to have this resolved.”