Of all the attacks levied at Bob Minton while he was actively fighting Scientology, the Fashanu Report may have been the most far-reaching and nasty. In his days as an investment banker, Bob and his partner Jeff Schmidt worked with the Nigerian government to buy back the nation’s debt at a reduced price, saving the country billions of dollars. Scientology decided to portray this business arrangement as an illegal scheme and attempted to get Bob sent to prison for financial crimes.
Scientology hired a famous Nigerian soccer star named John Fashanu to be the front man for their attack. They supplied Fashanu with a hefty written report documenting Bob’s “crimes.” Fashanu then held a press conference and denounced the man who he claimed had raped the struggling country out of $5-billion. Scientology made sure the world press covered the story and tried to get Bob hauled into court and thrown in the slammer.
It didn’t work out that way because as with all of Scientology’s attacks, they are built on lies. Before long, Scientology’s involvement with the report was uncovered and news reports detailed how Scientology had manufactured and manipulated the entire circus.
Howard University in Washington D.C. invited Bob and Fashanu to do a debate. Bob immediately accepted as did Fashanu who was to bring along the Scientology P.I. who was really responsible for the report. When the day came, Fashanu backed out but Bob showed up and faced an angry room full of Nigerian students who wanted to confront the man who they believed had raped their nation. Bob brought along documentation and walked the students through the entire complex debt buy-back program and explained to them why Scientology was trying to silence him with nasty covert acts.
Now, nine years later, John Fashanu has confessed that there was no truth to the charges laid out in the report that bore his name. He’s asked for forgiveness from the Nigerian government for the lies he put forth. The press reports don’t mention Scientology’s involvement and I hope Fashanu is asked to explain in detail how they used him as part of their Fair Game assault.
In leadership lessons, one vital skill is the ability of a leader to take responsibility for his every action, whether it achieves success or failure.
John Fashanu, former footballer, may not have acquired this aspect of leadership, or so it seems. Recently, the ex-international squarely put the blame for his controversial ‘Fashanu Report’ on the media.
He said the claim that $6bn was allegedly fleeced from the country’s coffers between 1988 and 1993 did not emanate from him, but was a mere media creation. He therefore apologized to the former military ruler, General Ibrahim Babangida, whose junta supervised that period in Nigeria’s history.
“There was never a time that I accused General Babangida over funds stacked away in any foreign land. It was just a media creation and I have personally apologized to him for the embarrassment it has caused him,” Fashanu said.,
Continuing, he stressed, “I can say it again and again, that there was nothing like debt buy-back or any billions stacked away in any account anywhere. It was all a misrepresentation by the media world-wide, and it is rather unfortunate. I am sorry; we have not found any debt buy-back or any allegation at all. I have also apologized to her Excellency Maryam Babangida as well.”
Many people are taken aback by what they describe as Fashanu’s resort to the blame game. They still remember that Fashanu, in April 2000, had claimed to have names, dates and account numbers of those involved in the alleged debt buy-back scam.
However, the hollowness of his denials started becoming evident when recently he failed to show up at a Professor Bolaji Aluko-led Nigerian Democratic Movement (NDM)-organized public forum, where he was to confront Robert Minton on the controversial report. Incidentally, this was after repeated assurances from Fashanu and his agent, Robert Clarke, that he would be at the public forum to state his position.
Robert Minton, whom Fashanu had accused of serving as a front for the Federal Government, had accused him of being sponsored by Scientology organisation, a cult group Minton had brought into critical light.
Minton said: “Fashanu has been used by the Scientology organisation that considers me to be their greatest enemy in the world. There is no chance Fashanu investigated it on his own. His investigator is a full-time worker for Scientology. This is a vendetta on Scientology’s part against me and they are using Fashanu and Nigeria as a tool to beat me on the head. That is the bottomline.”
Whether these inconsistencies were the creation of the media or self-inflicted is a question only Fashanu himself can answer.
The report says he failed to show up “recently” to the D.C. debate when in fact it was nine years ago. I thought perhaps this was an old article picked up anew by Google but several other newspapers also reported this as just happening in the last few days. And if it had happened back in the LMT days, we would have been aware of that seismic development.
Back in 2000, we thought that Scientology broke into Bob’s partner’s London office and stole documents related to the Nigerian debt buy-back. A few years later, we learned that they didn’t have to break in. They had merely given the night janitor some money and he let them come in and freely xerox documents held in the office. Those were then cherry-picked, taken out of context and distorted into the smear that became the report.
As Scientology does so often when they claim that the evil psychs were behind the holocaust, Jonestown or 9/11, or when they print an issue of Freedom Magazine to praise the glorious leadership of David Miscavige after the St. Pete Times revealed him to be a sadistic tyrant ruling his desert compound with physical beatings and psychological torture, Scientology can not be trusted to tell you the truth.
I’m proud to continue supporting Bob Minton who faced an assault from Scientology like few others before or after. What they did to Bob, Paulette Cooper, Gabe Cazares, Gerry Armstrong and the other victims of Fair Game is not ancient history. It is Scientology’s dark legacy.