Football Star,John Fashanu was left in a Nigerian jail pen with 200 others after being held over an alleged dodgy land deal, police have revealed.
The former Wimbledon and England star spent two days locked up as officers investigated claims he acted as a fixer in a scam to sell plots that were not for sale.
He was arrested at his home on the Sun City Estate, in the capital Abuja, and taken in on suspicion of “criminal conspiracy”, detectives said.
It is alleged that earlier this year the former I’m a Celeb favourite acted for a friend looking to buy land.
The pal claims he was told by Fashanu, 54, of two contacts who would help with buying “forgotten lands” – plots owned by chiefs that the state were unaware of.
He was allegedly given £23,000 in cash to fix the deal with his “boys”. But when the new “owner” went to claim his land, it is alleged he found it not for sale and not in the hands of local chiefs.
Fash, who once fronted Nigeria’s version of Deal or No Deal, was taken before a superintendent last week to explain himself before being left in a packed pen, police sources said.
A source close to the former Gladiators presenter said last night: “This is a business deal between friends that has gone south and the police were asked to basically mediate.
“It will all be sorted very quickly. It was just a business deal.”
It is understood Fashanu was released after surrendering his British passport and agreeing to pay back a first instalment of the money.
Sources said he looked to sell some of his cars to raise the cash as he waited for funds from his numerous business interests to clear in his bank account.
The London-born celebrity’s Nigerian barrister Hyp Egbune confirmed he had this week paid a second instalment of the money owed.