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Monday 27 August 2000
THE REAL STORY ABOUT JOHN FASHANU'S SO CALLED PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR
by George Noah
The man with many identities,
his links with the Scientology organisation,
his recruitment of John Fashanu &
his intrigues with the Nigerian government in his
bid to destroy Bob Minton
David Lee (aka Robert Clarke aka Ron Christopher), whose real name is David Lebeau, is a private investigator who has worked for the Scientology organisation for at least eight years. For the purpose of this report, we shall refer to the investigator as David Lee. After he was handed the project of destroying, Bob Minton, the retired American investment banker, the Scientology organisation is hell bent on destroying, Lee's first task was to research into Minton's past to find out where he could be vulnerable. Lee soon found out that Minton's company once did a debt buy back operation for the Central Bank of Nigeria between 1988 - 1993. The private investigator/cum Scientology agent immediately went to work with the hope of digging up something unpleasant about Minton. For three years he compiled a dossier on Minton. These were the years Fashanu was later to claim, he spent his own money investigating those who looted Nigeria's treasury!
The fact is that Lee personally compiled the ''Fashanu Report'' and equally placed John Fashanu on his payroll and not the other way round as the former footballer has been suggesting. Through recommendations especially from another Scientologist, Chief Rilwanu Lukman, who claims to be a devout Muslim, Lee recruited Fashanu to spearhead the assault on Minton. Journalists who interviewed Fashanu on the debt buy back deal are unanimous in their views that Fashanu could not hold any intelligent discussion on the report he claims he put together. Lee who is Fashanu's boss, is extremely cagey about being identified as a Scientologist, lest his cover is revealed. This was why both men failed to appear at the public forum on the debt buy back deals organised by the Nigerian Democratic Movement at Howard University, Washington DC, two months ago. They both claimed to have been advised not to appear by their lawyers! Yet both men had craved media attention for the debt buy back scheme. Lee was always at the background whilst Fashanu hopped from one media house to another. Indeed, Lee was aware that former Scientology members were to attend the public forum. Hence his decision to abscond. As for Fashanu, he must have succumbed to his cerebral deficiencies and had decided not to embarrass himself or his paymasters.
Having recruited Fashanu, thought to be an ideal candidate for the job at the time, Lee devised a media plan in April this year, to give the ''Fashanu Report'' the required publicity blitz. He prepared a question and answer document and both men went to work. Within two weeks, the media began to take interest. The Nigerian debt buyback scheme soon became headline news in several London publications including; Africa Confidential, The Times, The Voice, New Nation and The Mirror. Shortly after, the Nigerian media followed suit.
Lee ensured that Fashanu was placed under surveillance. Fashanu on the other hand tried to out wit Lee by acquiring new fixed network and mobile phones to make discreet telephone calls. It is believed that Fashanu had considered quitting the project, due to the scrutiny of his credibility and his motives, but he appears incapable of doing so, because of the dossier Lee has on him. Sometime in May, Lee shocked Professor Bolaji Aluko in his Howard University office by playing back a conversation Fashanu had with Ned Nwoko, a member of the House of Representatives. Lee was at that time on the verge of abandoning Fashanu because the ex footballer was becoming a liability. He felt it was a high wire strategy to pin all his three year work on a man whose credibility was being eroded by the day and confided in Aluko that Fashanu could not be trusted. He said Fashanu was like a lose cannon. Fashanu had approached the Abachas with the aim of extorting money from them claiming the ''Fashanu Report'' had information that showed they stole Nigeria's money. The Abachas wanted Fashanu to substantiate his claims, but the former footballer never went past that stage because he never had that information in the first instance. Fashanu had also ''recruited'' Ned Nwoko as someone from the Presidency who could facilitate the prosecution of Minton. Lee was to find out from his secret taping of Fashanu and Nwoko, that Nwoko was on his own and was not working for the Presidency.
Sensing that the Fashanu angle had outlived its usefulness, and that the ex footballer was more of a liability than an asset, Lee began work on plan B. In June when President Obasanjo went to Switzerland, Lee and his group were on his trail. With the help of Lukman, Lee was able to meet Obasanjo for about 30 minutes. Lee later said he was so surprised about the lack of security around Obasanjo. ''They (security agents) did not even frisk me before I met the President'' Lee later told Aluko. It was during the meeting with Obasanjo that Lee brought up the Minton issue. After that meeting, Nigeria at attempted to press charges against Minton. But it is believed the government is reconsidering its move because independent lawyers have counselled that Minton has no case to answer. One source said several lawyers had rummaged through the ''Fashanu Report'' and thought the country could end up with eggs on its face if the case was taken any further.
Another inside source said the government was advised that the ''Fashanu Report'' did not prove Minton had committed any offence and that the whole controversy was being spearheaded by the Scientology organisation in its bid to embarrass Minton. They also proffered the following advise; that the Nigerian Senate had claimed in its report that the debt buy back deal in question was transparently executed and that the companies Lee and his group claimed was owned by Minton in defrauding Nigeria was actually owned 100 per cent by the Central Bank of Nigeria; that Minton's debt buy back scheme had saved Nigeria about $5 billion;and that Nigeria had demonstrated financial engineering in reducing its debt at the expense of the nation's creditors.
Nigerian government officials have gone cold in their liaison with Lee and Fashanu, having realised Lee's motives, the futility of the case against Minton, and that Lee is a man of various identities. Sources said Lee attempted to see Obasanjo in London last week through the Nigeria High Commission, but was given a cold shoulder. It is believed that Lee has returned to the drawing board to devise another method of attack against Minton.
From 1993 onwards, Lee ensured that Minton lost his privacy. Lee and his group virtually kept tabs on Minton's telephone conversations and travel itinerary. They compiled a list of all those who knew Minton and approached them with the aim of gathering incriminating information about him. They tailed Minton's daughters, wife, father and mother whether they were in the United States or abroad. It was a sophisticated surveillance activity. The Scientology organisation did not spare a dime in ensuring that they trailed their public enemy number one and his family. The idea was to intimidate and overwhelm Minton. But that approach failed, because Minton vowed that he would continue to expose the totalitarian nature of Scientology and to continue the funding for the civil case instituted against the cult organisation for the death in custody of one of their former member, named Lisa MacPherson. The Scientology organisation stand to lose a whopping $100 million if they lose the case. Hence the need to force Minton to abandon the funding for that litigation by all means necessary.
In 1998, Lee and his agents broke into the London West End offices of Minton's business partner, Jeffrey Schmidt and photocopied all the documents they found. The bulk of the documents found is what we now know as the ''Fashanu Report''. Lee and Fashanu have declined to include Schmidt or Selwyn Lewis, the two other business partners of Minton in the debt buyback scheme. This is because Minton is the only target. The ''Fashanu Report'' is about 150 pages thick. On the face of it, it looks impressive but the document on its own does not prove any criminal act perpetrated by Minton. It only demonstrates that someone had taken great pains to do some investigation and gather confidential documents.
Lee came up with the $6 billion debt buy back scam to generate interest in his project. But no such money was involved in the debt buy back deal. Indeed, the Central bank employed $1.1 billion to buy back over $4 billion of Nigeria's debt. But Fashanu and Lee hopped from one media house to another, telling those who cared to listen that they had uncovered about 6 billion dollars of Nigeria's money looted from the treasury. Fashanu swore that his revelations had led to the freezing of some bank accounts in Europe, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. To date he and Lee has failed to provide details of such accounts that had been frozen and where they had been frozen. Not a single name has been linked to accounts that have been frozen through the Lee/Fashanu crusade. Not one. Lee even claimed Minton's accounts had been frozen, but has declined to substantiate his claims. Minton on the other hand had called the duo liars, insisting they were in fantasy island.
Back to David Lee and his background. Lee's base of operations has been in Los Angeles in Scientology-owned offices. Notionally, he work for Omega Legal Services, or Omega Legal Investigations, in Cedar Ridge, Colorado, where anyone can be a private investigator no license is required. The business in Cedar Ridge is owned by a man named George Bacon. This "business," however, is only someone's house with a phone line in it.
The first time David Lee surfaced working for Scientology was in 1992, when he befriended a group of high-level Scientology executives who had recently left the organisation. Their names were Terri and Fernando Gamboa, Janice and Paul Grady, Mark Fisher, and several others. They all settled in Las Vegas and started a mortgage company together. These people knew him as David Lebeau. He was sent in to keep tabs on them to make sure they didn't cause any trouble for the organisation. These people knew he was a plant because of certain questions he asked and the way he behaved generally, but they never let on to him that they knew. Their thinking was that it was better to know who was being run in on them, thereby being able to control the situation, than to blow his cover and risk having another person sent in that they might not spot.
Lebeau kept especially close tabs on Terri Gamboa, who had been the highest-ranking executive and knew the most about Scientology's underhand activities. He went so far as to travel with Terri and Fernando to Australia when they went there on a vacation. Lebeau was reportedly in Las Vegas with these people for two years. He next appeared in Seattle, Washington, in charge of a surveillance team that was set up under the control of Scientology intelligence officer Ben Shaw in Los Angeles. From 1994 until 1998 David Lee ran this team, whose job was to monitor and report on the activities of two former-Scientologists-turned-critics, Stacy and Vaughn Young. (Stacy's name is now Brooks). Under Lee's direction, activities against the Youngs were calculated to destroy their reputations, get them put in prison, and get Stacy incarcerated in a mental institution. The Youngs' trash was stolen repeatedly, as evidenced by many phone calls from local businesses advising them that their trash envelopes with their names on them, were overflowing in the garbage cans. Both David Lee and Eugene Ingram, another Scientology-hired private investigator, went door-to-door in the Youngs' neighbourhood, spreading negative stories about them and passing out photographs. A fifteen-page "newsletter" was placed on the doorsteps of everyone in the Youngs' neighbourhood. This "newsletter" contained negative reports accusing the Youngs' of pornography, child abuse and more.
One of the men on the surveillance team later quit in disgust and contacted Bob Minton to tell him what the team had done. He said they had parabolic microphones on the Youngs' house twenty-four hours a day so that they could tape record all of their conversations. The tapes were sent down every day to Ben Shaw.
The Youngs were in the process of establishing a sanctuary for lost and abandoned cats. David Lee's team targeted these animals for destruction as a way of forcing the Youngs to stop their public criticism of Scientology. In the summer of 1997 Stacy Young was interviewed by the popular American 60 Minutes TV programme for an expose about Scientology. Scientology attorneys sent her a threatening letter telling her to withdraw her permission to allow 60 Minutes to use her interview on the show. Stacy refused to do so. At the same time, Vaughn testified before the state government in Hamburg, Germany, about his knowledge of Scientology's criminal activities. In retaliation for the Youngs' actions, Scientology ordered David Lee and his team to launch an all-out assault to have them arrested on criminal animal abuse charges.
Two Scientology operatives under David Lee's direction moved into an apartment next door to the Youngs and began going door to door in the neighbourhood complaining about diseased cats and filthy conditions. The neighbours knew these complaints were false and did nothing about them. Lee organised a phone campaign against the Youngs to Animal Control, which began coming to the Youngs' house nearly every day to inspect, based on these anonymous phone complaints. The house was always impeccably clean and the rescued cats were healthy and clean. Then anonymous calls were made to the City Council and Mayor's offices. David Lee visited the Youngs' veterinarian and told him the animals at the Youngs were diseased and filthy. The veterinarian made regular house calls to the sanctuary, so he knew Lee's reports were false. Next Lee left anonymous letters on the doorsteps of all the Youngs' neighbours warning the neighbours they better complain to the authorities about the Youngs' filthy, diseased animals.
David Lee had his team make anonymous calls to the county mental health department, complaining that Stacy Young was crazy and needed to be incarcerated. One evening two officials from the commitment division arrived at the Youngs' house in white coats to take her away. Fortunately Stacy was able to convince them that she was sane, and went on the explain that the anonymous calls they had received were part of an orchestrated campaign by David Lee, working for Scientology, to keep her from speaking out about Scientology.
Lee had people picketing the Youngs' house, but all the neighbours would come and chase the picketers away. Finally David Lee began targeting the Youngs' landlord, who lived in the neighbourhood. Lee called the landlord threatening to have him arrested for violations of the local city ordinances. The landlord told the Youngs they would have to move the sanctuary elsewhere.
Just as David Lee thought he had been successful in driving the Youngs into silence about Scientology, Robert Minton contacted them and offered to help them purchase another house where they could safely care for their rescued animals.
The Youngs moved to Vashon, an island in Puget Sound a half hour from Seattle. Lee took his team to Vashon and launched a new assault on the Youngs there. He circulated false "public health warnings" about the Youngs' filthy, diseased cats, telling people they could catch AIDS from the animals. He approached the county storage facility, which was next door to the Youngs' house, and asked to be allowed to set up surveillance equipment on the Youngs. The county refused. While Vaughn Young was in Germany to testify again about Scientology, David Lee had the Youngs' dog kidnapped, presumably with the intention of killing him. Fortunately, the dog was able to escape but was nearly dead when neighbours found him. All his teeth had been kicked out by what the vet thought must have been a big boot, and his back was severely hurt as if he had jumped out of a moving car or truck.
It was discovered in late 1998, that Lee was the case officer for a deep undercover agent (Laura Terepin aka Jolie Steckart). Jolie Steckart was provided with a false identity and operated under an assumed name when she first volunteered to work for the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) in 1990. CAN was sued out of existence by Scientology in 1997. In early 1998, she volunteered to work for another anti-cult group, FACTNET which was also being sued by Scientology. But while she was at FACTNET Minton hired an investigator who uncovered Jolie and her more-than-eight-year undercover operation against the anti-cult community which was in 1998 being orchestrated by David Lee. She has not been seen since.
Lee's campaign against Minton has been the most pervasive anyone familiar with Scientology's methods has ever seen. David Lee has been assigned to supervise a campaign to destroy Minton since at least October 1997, when he directed a Scientology operative named Mary Frances Newey to go to Nashville, Tennessee, to begin doing a background check on Minton. This woman bumbled the job, asking about Bob's father, Robert Minton Sr., by mistake.
But a few days later, the same operative called Minton and told him that Scientology was prepared to start attacking him on several fronts unless he stopped giving financial support to Scientology's enemies. The areas of possible attack she listed to Minton were family, children, his ex-wife, his ex-business partners, his state and federal taxes, his mental health, drugs, and paying picketers. Of course, Minton informed her he had no intention of backing away because of her threats.
At the end of November, Minton was in Seattle to visit the Youngs after they moved into the house he had bought for them. While there he discovered that on the morning the house closed, Lee had visited the real estate agent who had taken care of the transaction. Lee admitted to the realtor that he had trespassed on the property, just "having a look around."
In mid-December Therese Minton arrived at the house in New Hampshire and found a dead cat on the doorstep, courtesy of Lee. In January 1998 Lee launched a flurry of picketing and leafleting in Boston against Minton. The first leaflet, distributed under cover of darkness in Minton's Beacon Hill neighbourhood, was titled "HATRED HIDDEN BEHIND FREE SPEECH" and was signed the Church of Scientology. The day after Lee's partner Eugene Ingram was making phone calls to Minton's friends and associates saying he was investigating Minton for conspiracy to commit extortion. The same day, Minton found out that Lee had called his father to drive a wedge between them.
On January 8, 1998, David Lee visited Minton's mother, uncle, aunt, and his two brothers at their places of business, to do his usual job. Meanwhile, Lee's group of undercover leafleters returned to Minton's neighbourhood in the middle of the night with a new leaflet: NEIGHBOUR PAYS TO CREATE HATRED AGAINST RELIGIOUS GROUP. This leaflet accused Minton of funding pornographers, sado-masochists, and neo-Nazis. Later in January, Lee surfaced in Los Angeles, having tracked down a former employee of Minton living there. Lee told the former associate that he was contacting everyone he could find who had worked with Minton. Again, Lee did the usual.
By March 5, a private investigator calling himself Ron Christopher offered a large sum of money to a former business associate of Minton in return for information about Minton. There is reason to believe that Ron Christopher is a pseudonym for David Lee. This same private investigator identified himself as being with Financial Researchers when he made calls to several of Minton's friends and associates asking questions about him. On August 24, 1998, a group of people picketed the office building of a former associate of Minton's, Bob Smith, who had been quoted in the New York Times giving a favourable report about Minton's character. Private investigator Lee was undoubtedly the source of the information about where Bob Smith could be found, at the Turan Corporation, a company Smith and Minton had founded together.
Later in August David Lee contacted Minton's son to do what he knows best. A few days later, Lee directed an event in Minton's Beacon Hill neighbourhood during which leaflets were passed out to friends, neighbours, and parents of his children's classmates, primarily intended to upset his children about their father. That evening people with picket signs showed up in New Hampshire holding picket signs again intended to upset Minton's children. In September, David Lee's counterpart in England, Peter Franks, continued the co-ordinated campaign to destroy Minton's family by visiting Therese Minton's friends and family there. Franks said Lee would visit every neighbour in Boston, as well as the Minton children's teachers, administrators and parents of their friends.
In October 1998, Lee co-ordinated with Franks to see that a 14-page pack of discrediting materials was delivered to Minton's former partner, Jeff Schmidt, and the Nigerian Minister of Finance in Washington, D.C., during the IMF meeting there. This was the beginning of the campaign to use Nigeria to go after Minton. Shortly after that IMF meeting, as earlier stated, someone burgled the London office of Minton's former partner, Jeff Schmidt. Based on the Greenland Holding information contained in the Scientology written Fashanu Report released in April 2000 by John Fashanu, the data from Jeff Schmidt's office was stolen by someone working for Franks and Lee and included in the Fashanu Report.
Peter Franks has had numerous meetings and phone calls with Jeff Schmidt and Selwyn Lewis since early 1998 and conducted a serious campaign of harassment directed at Jeff and his wife which forced them to leave England for Brunei (where Jeff's wife is from). Lee has continued to work in co-ordination with Peter Franks on the non existent $6 billion debt buy back scheme that would turn the Nigerian Government against Minton. But it appears the government now has a better appreciation of these intrigues.
Title: Repost: OPERATION FOOL THE NATION
Author: Stacy Brooks <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 16:54:48 -0400
(I posted this article earlier today but was not on my own computer and misspelled my name -- my apologies if this caused any confusion.) This article was just published in TELL Magazine, the Nigerian equivalent of Time magazine here in the U.S. It is a very good summary of the current status of Scientology's attempt to set Bob Minton up on money laundering charges. Stacy TELL Magazine, No. 34, August 21, 2000 OPERATION FOOL THE NATION: The John Fashanu report on alleged $6 billion debt buy-back scam may be a mirage after all. By Osa Director [this is really the author's name, apparently] with additional reporting by Ademola Oyinlola/Washington DC and Janet Mba-Afolabi Idris Abubakar, a senator representing Gombe South Constituency, is fast acquiring the image of a fighter. When the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, chaired by Abubakar, gave a clean bill of health to Nigeria's debt buy-back operation in the period of 1988 to 1993, many were wont to believe. However, John Fashanu, a Nigerian-born United Kingdom-based former international soccer star, dismissed the report as a cover-up. Indeed, Fashanu accused the Senate committee of bias and laziness for not getting to the root of the transactions which he described as an embarrassing scam. According to Fashanu, the Abubakar-led Senate committee, which described the debt buy-back deals as transparent, may have been misled to such conclusions because "the Senate committee never reviewed the report (Fashanu's report) that was submitted to the Nigerian government." Incriminating documents, he claimed, were withheld from them (Senate committee). "It took over a year for the forensic accountants and financial investigators to piece together the maze of transaction which uncovered the looted funds; and now, that information is being closely guarded or withheld from the proper officials by the very individuals that want to cover up their own crimes, mainly the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, officials in charge of debt buy-back scheme from 1988 to 1993," said Fashanu, who expressed his determination to pursue the matter further. With such vehement rebuttal, Fashanu was only treading a familiar turf. In a well-orchestrated media blitz, Fashanu, in April, announced to the world that a three-year private investigation undertaken by him had unearthed a monumental scam of about $6 billion in the debt buy-back transactions done between 1988 and 1993. This was during the tenure of General Ibrahim Babangida, the famed 'Evil Genius' whose eight years of military dictatorship culminated in the annulment of June 12, 1993 Presidential election. The winner of that election, Moshood Abiola, later died in custody in 1998. Hence, with Babangida's unenviable and corrupt leadership background, many Nigerians who have been calling for a probe of the gap-toothed general latched on the "Fashanu report" to pressure President Olusegun Obasanjo for an intensive probe of Babangida's era, described as the period when corruption and graft became entrenched as statecraft. But TELL learnt that Fashanu is an unlikely character to champion such a crusade with emerging facts regarding his motives and sincerity. Fashanu claimed he stumbled on the fraud by chance in his bid to run checks on some potential business partners in Nigeria. He told The NEWS magazine recently that, in the course of running the checks, "a lot of information began to come out, it got bigger and bigger until we were looking at a fraud of at least $6 billion, involving 200 separate bank accounts." The patriotic zeal to give Nigeria a better image in the global community, Fashanu claimed, propelled him to finance and hire some investigators to expose the shady deals in the debt buy-back scheme. The former English soccer star even boasted: "I have details of account numbers, identities of those involved, dates and times these frauds were perpetrated." But such claims began to dim when he spoke to The Punch newspapers. Fashanu made spirited attempts to give former self-appointed military President Babangida a clean bill. Since the debt buy-back transaction took place during Babangida's dictatorship and with the degree of knavery that characterized that junta, insinuations were that the missing $6 billions allegedly found by Fashanu might have gone into the foreign accounts of Babangida and his henchmen. But Fashanu, in what to some amounts to sheer double talk and diplomatic brinkmanship, emphasized that he never accused Babangida of theft. Said he, "If you know how government works, you will know that things are not just as straightforward." Who then are the perpetrators and beneficiaries of the scam? Why has Fashanu refused to release the documents incriminating the perpetrators? In short, what does Fashanu want to achieve? TELL learnt the expose by Fashanu may just be a smokescreen in an ongoing high wired politics in the international circuit. Since the disclosure of the debt buy-back, Fashanu is yet to release a single name or bank account of any Nigerian who has benefited from the deals. Even Babangida, who was loudly suspected by all, has tacitly been cleared by the soccer star turned businessman. But two names have featured prominently as participants and major beneficiaries of the transaction. They are Jeffrey Schmidt and Bob Minton, both American financial investors, who were said to be close to Babangida. The duo were alleged to be the brains behind the major offshore company, Greenland Holdings Inc. based in Panama, that was used to purchase Nigeria's debt. Even between the twosome, the multimillionaire, Minton, seems to have received more of the attacks. But why? The public, perhaps, had the opportunity to find out recently in Washington DC. The Nigerian Democratic Movement, NDM, led by Professor Bolaji Aluko, head of the Chemical Engineering in Howard University and son of the popular economist, Professor Sam Aluko, organized a public forum where Minton and Fashanu were to speak on all the grey areas in the debt buy-back controversy. Unfortunately, Fashanu, in spite of repeated assurances, surprisingly failed to turn up for the event. The organizers of the event were shocked at Fashanu's absence, especially for the fact that the former Wimbledon Football Club captain and his agent, Robert Clarke, had written to Aluko previously, urging him to help sensitise the relevant sections of the US government and people to their investigations and the need to recover the alleged looted funds for the benefit of Nigerians. However, Minton, who came to the venue with a heap of documents relating to the transactions, told TELL that he never participated in any dubious deal to rip off Nigerians through their government or agents. "What we did was within internationally recognized financial guidelines and laws." Minton noted that his disclosure, "due to the lies bandied around," was against the agreement he had with the government of Nigeria to keep their transactions strictly confidential. The main grouse of his accusers, Minton claims, is because he is fighting the Church of Scientology. "Fashanu is hired by the Church of Scientology. And his so-called investigator, Robert Clarke, works for the scientology organization." According to Minton, the Church of Scientology, founded by L. Ron Hubbard, is a very powerful sect which allegedly "draws its members from a broad cross-section of society, and like other destructive cults, uses a sophisticated combination of deceptive recruiting methods, false promises, hypnosis, behaviour modification, sleep deprivation, dietary manipulation, information control, phobia indoctrination and other mind control techniques to entice and control its members." Minton formed the Lisa McPherson Trust to fight and "expose the abusive and deceptive practices of the Church of Scientology and help those who have been victimized by it." The trust, which started operations on January 6, 2000, is named after a young lady, Lisa McPherson, who allegedly died in the Church of Scientology's Fort Harrison Hotel after being held against her will for 17 days. Minton told the magazine that his crusade against the scientologists has caused him great stress, including the "present campaign to tarnish my name and professional integrity." No doubt, in the titanic struggle between these two powerful forces, a well-heeled organization on the one hand and a wealthy financial investor on the other, all that is foul is fair. And some persons may have been used, even innocently. Certainly too, truth has become a casualty in the crossfire between both combatants. When Minton was given a human rights award in Leipzig, Germany in April, the Fashanu group was alleged to have manipulated this information to mean that he went to hurriedly close his account to Germany and move them to Switzerland. The several companies said to have been floated by Minton and Schmidt for the purchase of Nigeria's debt were actually owned by the CBN. Such companies included Greenland Holdings Inc. in Panama, Triolet International Limited and Shamrock Financial Corporation, both in New Hampshire, USA. Testifying before the Senate committee, Mahe Rafindadi Rasheed, the deputy governor, domestic operations of CBN, said, "Greenland Holdings was a wholly-owned company belonging to the CBN and used for the purpose of concealing a debt buy-back from the eyes of the Paris Club and others who frowned on debt buy-backs. Rasheed revealed that the ownership of Greenland Holdings was concealed because of the parity clause in the agreement Nigeria signed with its creditor countries. Consequently, "you cannot single out one creditor and deal with him alone in having a reduction of his debt, that is in purchasing it back from the creditor himself: you must deal with all the creditors on equal basis." As a result of this parity clause, he went further, "that is why third parties must be sought in order to effectuate debt buy-backs. It is also as a result of that, when buying debt buy-back, it must be done confidentially so that other creditors, particularly the Paris Club, would not know." Really, when the United States of America got to know that Greenland Holdings was a CBN-owned company, which was being used for debt buy-backs, they advised the bank to close it immediately. But the usefulness of floating Greenland Holdings was immense as "we did not want to give money to a third party who may disappear with it," Rasheed said. But did the debt buy-back yield any financial reward for the country? Rasheed said it resulted "in external debt reduction of over $5 billion for the country." Minton confirmed this to the magazine in Washington. He disclosed that he made a tidy profit of over $45 million. In the agreement signed between CBN and Greenland Holdings on March 24, 1988, it noted, inter alia. "Greenland will cover all expenses, including lawyers' fees and OLD (the bank) fees. Net profit to Greenland will be approximately one per cent of the face value of the debt." A financial expert who spoke to TELL said the transaction between Minton and the CBN was done within acceptable international laws. "There is no doubt that Minton made a lot of profit but that was based on the content of the agreement. He didn't violate any law." But Fashanu's investigator, Robert Clarke, will hear none of this. In his letter to Aluko, he stated that "domination and evidence indicate that these individuals (Minton and Schmidt) not only profited from these transactions but set up a sophisticated offshore network to establish and operate companies and trusts with most likely the intention of hiding their true identities and ownership so as to try and elude the US tax jurisdiction and many other jurisdictions as well. After close examination of the documents, it is apparent that these individuals set up a complex money laundering operation through established on and offshore finance institutions using real and manufactured Third World debt instruments actively being traded on the secondary market." If actually Minton and Schmidt were involved in money laundering, why did the US government not prosecute them since they eventually became aware of Greenland Holdings account? And why has Fashanu and is investigator, Clarke, refused to initiate court proceedings against Minton in a US court for tax evasion as they claim. Moreover, if Fashanu's claim that he was motivated by a sense of national pride and patriotism is to be believed, why did he demand for $500 million from President Obasanjo before handing over the documents containing his investigations? And since President Obasanjo made this disclosure, Fashanu is yet to deny or respond. He has, however, argued that the latest move of the government in retaining the services of Phillipe Neyroud, a Swiss attorney, to file criminal complaints against Minton, justifies, to some extent, his allegations of a big scam. Perhaps, the most devastating criticism of Fashanu's tactics and motives came from his former admirer, George Noah. The London-based Nigerian journalist was, indeed, the first Nigerian to interview and write on Fashanu's "heroic and patriotic" exposition of the $6 billion scandal. On finding out that Fashanu might have fooled the nation, Noah poured invective and diatribe on the former soccer star for his diabolical campaign. He described Fashanu as a military apologist and an Abacha lackey. The ex-footballer, Noah said, will be the first to admit that his widely publicized "Fashanu report" is nothing about politics, "but by commenting on Nigeria's debt buy-back deals from 1988-1993, Fashanu has ignited a political dynamite and the expected debris may eventually consume him."
Title: Scientology, Lukman, David Lee, Fashanu and
Author: Bob Minton <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 03:23:34 -0400
Fashanu is a dead man! From the very beginning of Scientology's operation to destroy, discredit and jail me, OPEC's Rilwanu Lukman, a long term Scientologists, has been the key Scientology operative/facilitator on the Nigeria side of the equation. There is no doubt that Lukman, with his Scientology handlers hand-picked John Fashanu to be their boy for the frontal assault on me while Scientology and Lukman tried to stay behind their masks. Fashanu had baggage to begin with and Scientology had to make sure they had control of Fash. The Scientology PI, David Lee/Lebow, using the alias of Robert Clarke, not only did the infamous "Fashanu Report" but he also wiretapped Fashanu to be sure of his loyalties. In fact, Lee recently played an audio tape in Washington D.C. of Fashanu talking on the phone with a Nigerian Senator discussing how they were going to blackmail some Nigerians whose names and offshore account details had been uncovered by David Lee during his "research" for the Fash report. This tape was played for the NDM president in Washington, Bolaji Aluko, also the Howard University professor. Needless to say, Professor Aluko thought that it was VERY unusual that a man who was "employed" by Fash would also be monitoring the calls of his "boss". Well, Fash has seen the writing on the wall and has been trying to find an elegant way to exit the imbroglio that Scientology has placed him in for a few weeks now. Fash is now a paranoid man, always looking over his shoulder, afraid to talk on his phones and finding himself repeatedly attacked in the Nigerian press as a lackey of Abacha in the past and now Scientology. This does not include the attempts by Fashanu to hold-up the Nigerian government for $500,000 or to do the same with the Abacha family over the information in the "Fashanu" report. I bet John was happier when he was playing football rather than being used as a football by Scientology. The irony at present for Fashanu is he can't get out of the Scientology blackmail trap. There's no where Fashanu can go to extricate himself from this quagmire. BUT, Fashanu made a deal with the devil Abacha and now with the devil, Scientology. You can never win when you sleep with the devil, John; so, don't come to me looking for help. That's why I say Fashanu is a dead man! Now to Scientology's Lukman. Apart from his regular contact with the Scientology PI's and his Scientology handlers, Lukman has been peeping out from behind the Scientology mask. In June he personally arranged for the Nigerian president Obasanju, during a state visit to Switzerland, to meet with David Lee to hear the Scientology spin on the Fash report.
Also present with Lee was a James Hunt, probably an alias as well. They askedthe Nigerian president for $2.0 million to continue their investigations. Seemsthat Scientology's PI's are also Nigerian patriots now too.Interestingly, Fashanu is no longer present anywhere for any meetings as theScientology crooks continue to shed their masks. He is in factpersona-non-grata with most key Nigerians. Apart from asking for money, theScientology PI's are also threatening some key Nigerians by suggesting that if they don't cooperate with Lee, then these Nigerians will be exposed as pawns ofBabangida. This blatant blackmail is going to bite Scientology in the ass oneday as each of these RICO predicate acts is documented.Also, some Nigerian government officials are being followed everywhere in Abujaand Lagos. There is generally a lot of concern as these people believe thatScientology is behind strange occurences such as the disappearance of keydocuments relative to these matters from a government officials office inAbuja, the theft of address books and diaries from 2 prominent players inLagos, the bugging of a CBN office in Lagos. These all may be pure coincidencethat such things are going on to people intimately involved in this scenario. However, they sure do sound familiar to me. Lukman also personally intervened with the Nigerian High Commissioners Office in London to "persuade" them to write the letter to Swiss authorities saying they wanted me prosecuted. Lukman is totally a pawn of Scientology in this matter. He calls no shots. Miscavige is personally handling this matter and is falling on his face. He is going to personally take the whole Scientology organization down with him because of his unbridled hatred of me. So be it Miscavige. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Scientology likes to say that IBB is the wealthiest living ex-dictator. Well, Lukman is probably the richest living ex-OPEC president (although I would guess Sheik Yamani is ahead of him). Research has discovered that the largest oil-trading venture in Nigeria, which was set-up by Lukman, is owned and operated by Scientologist friends of Lukman. In due course a lot more details will be forthcoming about a company that affects the lives of Nigerians on a daily basis..
One of the companies in question is Vitol, a London based oil trader that is lifting about 350,000 barrels per day of oil from Nigeria. Lukman and his close friend, Mohammed Barkindo, also a Scientologists have some interesting European Scientologists involved here as well. Lukman is also the Special Petroleum Adviser to the Nigerian President. Also, Barkindo is the Managing Director of Hyson and Carlson, a joint venture between Vitol and NNPC (the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.). Seems like Lukman has been able, with his Scientology associates, to set up a oil mafia in Nigeria bigger than what Abacha was able to set up with his Swiss friends, Glencore Petroleum. Funnyhow Scientology says this stuff is bad if Abacha did it but it's cool for some Scientologists to pay off government people in Nigeria to facilitate theirbusiness. Might be Scieno double standards? Or, can it be the OT powers atwork!Other Lukman beneficiaries include Kase Lawal, Leno Adesanya, Crystal View Petroleum which is tied to Lukman's special assistant, Francis Kopolukan. Crystal View is VERY active in bidding for big offshore developement contractsin Nigeria.
Those Nigerian mentioned in this paragraph are said to be Scienos but I've not yet seen any confirmations.
Sometimes I have to do a "pinch test" just to be sure I'm living this bizarre story and not in the middle of a nightmare. Bob Minton
originally from: http://www.vanguardngr.com/wk207200/Bs416070.htm Sunday Vanguard: Business Section July 16, 2000 Lagos, Nigeria On the endless debt buy-back reports By ADEMOLA DANIELS NIGERIA'S search for her stolen monies since late Gen. Sani Abacha died has since snowballed into many things. From the time Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) took over to the reported latest discovery of some billions by President Olusegun Obasanjo in some non descript European bankers, not a few otherwise reputable names have been smeared. While Gen. Abubakar did not himself escape unscarthe, given latter day charges of profligacy, assisted by the hitherto buoyant foreign reserve, President Obasanjo's approach has been severally described as suspect in circles. With these calibre of victims, no one can expect that lesser mortals would not be affected, rightly or wrongly, in the process. While many Nigerians have been correctly or incorrectly linked with the transactions in the Abacha period and even before and beyond, foreigners are equally beginning to get their share of the damming campaign. One person whose role have been x-rayed maximally in recent times is that of the successful US professional banker, Mr. Bob Minton. His role was recently further celebrated by the announced "discoveries" of former footballer, John Fashanu, of some assumed debt buy back transaction carried out in the former President Ibrahim Babangida regime with Minton as a principal beneficiary. The most unfortunate aspect of all these, however, is that Minton's arguments have somewhat not been appreciated by quarters that should. While this is not any attempt at a cheeky defence of Minton, it is however necessary for the populace not to shy away from the truth in the guise of a misguided self righteous pursuit of transparency. He who must come to equity must come with clean hands. As such, if a Minton is to be demonised, there should at least be a valuable reason for it. Otherwise, the administration's anti-corruption drive will be driving at the innocent, or the uninvestigated, or just any other past business partner that has correctly or incorrectly had any business dealing with the country. For Minton particularly however, I see holes not unblock going by recent media reports. The point to be hurriedly made is that the Fashanu report hit Babangida. And Babangida is not exactly a fancied person. Especially when his stupendous wealth, believed to have been acquired in office, is considered. Against that background, anything demonising Babangida is welcomed. And any attempt at warding off such attacks is greeted with rebuke. And so, the dilemma. By extension, it explains why Minton points have regrettably not been appreciated to a level where he would, as it were, stand exonerated. In his own published records, Minton who has surprisingly but understandably not visited Nigeria before said the initial plan of his group was to make profits ofapproximately 1 per cent of the value of re-purchased Nigerian debt, and by the close of 1993, they had collected "1.1 billion dollars of CBN Promissory Notes and approximately 3 billion dollars of Nigerian Bank debt. These were external debts of foreign currency of banks all over the world such as Barclays, Standard, Chartered Bank, etc." It is further regrettable that Minton has not been cleared of contemptuous remarks in government circles in these days of transparency despite his detailed explanation on amounts and percentages involved in the transactions. Of the 325 transactions listed by the American and besides the $1.1 and $3 billion of debts owned banks, there is an additional $450 million of multilateral debts between the Nigerian government and USA administration. How also could our top rate investigators said to be enriching themselves with their wonderful searches around the world, ignored the Minton's revelation that $4.5 billion of debt was bought back for the country with the average price of that debt being 34 cents on the dollar, apart from the fact that Nigeria gave about $1.5 billion in cash to re-purchase the debt, in the five years the exercise lasted? It is also remarkable that Minton's insistence that the transaction was good for Nigeria has not been publicly refuted by any concerned government official or even Fashanu himself. The businessman has been quoted as saying: "It was good business for Nigeria. We made a good profit at 1 per cent of transaction which is perfectly normal. During the course of this whole operation, the CBN was receiving monthly reports from us and we were talking on the phone everyday to CBN Governor Ahmed, Isamel Usman, Sanaki and Masahwa were dealing with this matter." Given this background, one would ask, what questions have been asked the living officials concerned? Must it be said to be wrong all the time, even if it is correctly done? And on the celebrated super profits the man is said to have made, the American has explained that the $1.5 billion the CBN paid to them over the period was not given up at once before job, but paid in instalments with $20 million, $75 million and so on as variations. The question should therefore be asked: Have these facts been examined for purposes of authentication before conclusions are reached? Why insist on crucifying a man whose case has not been genuinely examined? It is further instructive that Minton said during 1990, the CBN were runninga little short of money and they did a deal with NNPC. The CBN then sold NNPC's $500 million worth of promissory notes, and the CBN wanted NNPC to hold the notes, so that the Corporation could get the return on the investments. The essence of this, according to Minton is to free up cash for CBN which was done under a repurchase agreement for NNPC to sell back the notes to CBN which they did in 1992. To Minton, the key thing with regards to the bank debt is that in March 1992, they tendered all the bank debts into an official buy-back of the Nigerian government debt under the plan and they sold back to the CBN $3 billion worth of bank debt and received back for that on 40 cent on the dollar 1 billion and 200 billion dollars. The amount was given CBN as soon as it was received. The debt was given with an agent - City Bank which received all the debt before CBN cancelled it. £1.2billion was later collected as CBN money. From the records so far, debt owed was CBN's money and they were the nominee, the fiduciary holding the debt for CBN. Part of the unfortunately ignored fact by the detractors of Minton are that the transaction was a large one. And the fact that many banks the world over sold into this buy-back with CBN getting their dues is worthy enough. Minton has notably recounted that in late 1992, all the promissory notes were sent to Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, which were the agents. "We received an instruction from CBN to cancel all the Promissory Notes (about 1000 notes) tolling $1.1 billion. Chase Manhattan Bank sent a message to CBN confirming that the Promissory notes were cancelled." The fact that the CBN grounds of $3 billion was finished while $1.1 billion debt was wiped off the books makes an interesting evidence. According to Minton whose knack for details is limitless, he received another sum of $450 million as the multilateral debt which transaction was done in turn went to the Ministry of Finance because it was owed by them. "These debts were then cancelled and those were also finished. Those were the three types of debts. At the end of the day, CBN brought back $4.5 billion and it cost $1.5 billion approximately. In his records, Green land Holdings and the CBN were there with Sanaki wanting to supervise how things were done. I have not heard Fashanu respond to the allegations that he is being cheaply used. First, Fashanu brought in Abacha's administration in a situation where Minton's transactions ended early 1993 before the dictator came in later that year. Fashanu debt buy-back scam, money-laundering thing looks like a hoax and there is no chance that any detail, if at all, can be meaningful. I believe this because Fashanu has not responded satisfactorily to charges that he is being used by the Church of Scientology, an organisation that considers Minton to be their greatest enemy. It is said that he could not have done the so-called investigation on his own, while his investigator is allegedly a full time worker for Scientology. What is his response to the position that he was given the report to discredit Minton as an effective critic of Scientology in USA, Europe, France and Germany? Minton has been quoted undisputedly as saying: "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 with the clock and that is the bottom line. The fraudulent transaction, money laundering claim for IBB is not true. The investigator, Robert Clark for Fashanu goes by two other different names i.e. David Lee and David Laubach. With this explanation therefore, why should a whole government get involved in mudslinging? Should a government allow itself to be brought into this sort of mundanity? Here is Fashanu, an Abacha for life President campaigner who participated actively in the two-million man march trying to come back to equity! But have we examined his hands? The former footballer also said recently that he is not after Babangida. If not, then who? Can't we therefore see the factor of Minton as the undeserving target? Fashanu has reportedly asked for N500 million from government to do a "patriotic job," and principally before he releases details. Haba! Are we moving forward or seeking enrichment avenues? What is all these really? Persons with ulterior motive should not be accommodated in the bid to tarnish the image of this man - a bid that cannot succeed, given the usual triumph of good over evil, of truth over falsehood and of righteousness over unrighteousness. Nigerian government should more significantly not be brought into the smear campaign. Let's leave Minton, a man who closed business with Nigeria early 1993, before the dark days of Abacha, alone. Daniel writes from Abuja
Skip forward to Lukman
Title: Nigeriaworld: Minton defends buy-back deal
Author: Rod Keller <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 13:20:17 GMT
IBB's $4.5bn debt buy-back was a secret deal, says U.S. collaborator Nigeriaworld Monday, June 12, 2000 Laolu Akande Washington, DC, USA Intricate details of the $4.5 billion debt buy back scheme of the Babangida administration came into the open over the weekend in Washington DC as the main foreign partner of the then military administration conceded that the scheme was shrouded in secrecy as alleged by Mr John Fashanu. Fashanu had compiled a lengthy report on the buy back scheme that he said was a scam by the Babangida administration. Bu the foreign partner, an American, Mr. Bob Minton , who among with two others bought back the debts and resold to Nigeria between 1988 and 1993 contended that if the scheme was not secret, the deal would not have been worth it as the price of the debt will go up if it was done in the open market. Indeed Minton said by now publicly disclosing the contents of the deal he was violating the terms of agreement between them and the then Nigerian Government and the CBN to keep the transaction secret. But he justified this so as to clear his own name, stressing that he was also prepared to testify before the Nigerian senate if called upon to do so. Minton spoke on Sunday evening in DC at a forum organized by the Prof.Bolaji Aluko -led Washington DC - based Nigerian Democratic Movement (NDM) at the Howard University in Washington where Aluko is Chairman of the Chemical Engineering Department. But Mr. John Fashanu who was also billed to attend the forum with his investigator, Canada based Robert Clarke, to confront Minton on the deal was absent at the forum, which clearly took the organizers of the forum and others present aback. The forum was designed as a confrontation between Fashanu and those he accused of embezzling Nigerian funds through the buy back. Minton a stockily- built Caucasian who came to the venue of the forum with packets of files and his personal staff said he had nothing to hide denying that his accounts were not frozen anywhere as alleged by the Fashanu report. He called for an independent auditing firm to come and audit the transactions. But he was buffeted by members of the audience on questions regarding the propriety of the buy back scheme, especially regarding whether such a scheme made in secret was the best option for Nigeria. Or if such secrecy was in line with an open market standard and fair public bidding process. Minton said it was the decision of the Nigerian government to enter into the deal and not his. But that he was pleased to provide the service to Nigeria.He however said he will not go into such a deal again because he is now concerned in his life with other things apart from making money. According to him what he and his 2 other partners did, for which they made $45m in 5 years, was to buy back the said debts some of which were already being sold at secondary markets. They then resell to Nigeria, in that way reducing the debt load of Nigeria at the time. Minton said in his opening remarks b4 he began to field questions from the audience with Aluko moderating that some of the debts were being written off already by the creditors b4 the buy back scheme began. He added however that if Nigeria continued then to ignore the debts it would lead to difficulty in securing credits and possible seizure of Nigerian property abroad. In all Minton who named his other partners in the deal as Jeff Schmidt and Celine Louis said they bout 3 levels of Nigerian debts between 1988 and 1993.these were $1.1 billion in CBN promissory notes, $3billion in FG public debts and $464m in multilateral debts. Asked if he knew these debts to be genuine Minton who spoke and took questions from Nigerian and Americans at the forum for close to 2 hours said the public debts were simply designated as general-purpose loans. He said he knew that some of CBN's promissory notes were litigated upon and some were cancelled but that those they bought were valid. Minton added that he and his partners under the business name of Greenland Holdings held, (during the deal that lasted 5 years) a total of $2.8 billion Nigerian money. The break down of which is; Reserves-$1.1, Buyback proceeds $1.2 billion, $60 million from NNPC and $464 million in interests that Nigeria was paying while they bought the debts. On the expenditure side Minton disclosed that they spent $1.5 billion on the debt purchase and another $1.2 billion on buyback proceeds to the CBN. Buyback interests to CBN was also put at $3.5 million. Other expenditures were $4.5 million Bank debt holding fees, $3.7 million bank debt exit fees, $14 million in payments to the NNPC, $60 million in promissory notes repurchase from NNPC, $138,688 in interest paid to NNPC and $658,278 transfer to Federal Government of Nigeria. Minton said if the CBN figures are different from his own he could not say but that he is confident that his figures are accurate. He put the cash at hand at the end of the deal at 0. But the total of the expenditure side was put also put at $2.8 like the income side. He added that unlike what the Fashanu report suggested that they bought the Nigerian debts at 20cents on a dollar and sold for 60cents,that Nigeria actually paid 34cents on a dollar. Minton contrasted their own buy back deal with the one under the Abacha regime where he said Abacha's son bought the Ajaokuta debt for 20cents and sold for 60 cents on a dollar. According to Minton "that was a scam" In trying to defend his involvement in the deal Minton said he did not do anything criminal as Nigerian Lawyers in New York had already given clearance for the buy back. But he said the deal was indeed not in the spirit of the loan agreements that Nigeria entered into with the creditor banks. But he said they offered Nigeria the best deal on the buyback. He disclosed that the CBN were then unwilling to deal with Citibank of New York for the buy back. This was because of a previous debt sale involving Citibank and Ecuador where Citibank had to seize Ecuador's property. He said his partner Jeff Schmidt whom he said had met Babangida while he was in power was the one who was always in Nigeria during the deal serving as adviser to the FG. He said that Jeff Schmidt was still playing advisory role to Nigeria at this time. Minton disclosed that Schmidt has had several years of relationships with powerful Nigerians who he said might include the current president. Minton further revealed that while they were trying to enter into the deal, they were told that president Obasanjo who was then a known international figure had offered IBB to do the debt buy back instead of them. He said Obasanjo was reported to them as having asked for only 1% of the debt's face value. They eventually also offered to do the deal for the same 1% and got the business. As to the steps he will take on the accusations leveled against him by the Fashanu report when asked, Minton said he has retained counsel in Nigeria, sued Fashanu in Italy and will also proceed to sue him in Germany and UK. Minton has said in his opening remarks that he knew that both Babangida and Abacha looted Nigeria's money. However when asked if he will give more information he said he had none besides knowing that it was the practice in Nigeria then for leaders to steal money. The exception he said was that in his own estimation "What Babangida stole was within acceptable limits but Abacha was stealing everything and stepping on toes everywhere" He added that his partner Jeff Schmidt who he said was still doing business with the CBN had told him that IBB would be prepared to testify before the senate. His partner had also told him that IBB was supposed to call him recently but changed his mind when the heat on the buy back deal apparently mellowed. While speaking he kept referring to IBB's camp and when asked what he meant he said that was a phrase he heard from his partner Jeff Schmidt, who is still doing business with Nigeria at this time. Minton condemned the Fashanu report and alleged that Fashanu was being used by the Church of Scientology with whom he has a 3 year old running battle (for which he said the church is investigating him for 3 years) over the church's alleged human right violations and murder of certain persons by the church which he is bringing to the open. Minton said that Fashanu does not know that he is being used by the Church of scientology which he said has also got in touch with the Nigerian Vice president who received the Church's leader in Abuja recently according to Minton.Minton said that visit was made possible by the OPEC Sec-Gen Alhaji Rilwanu Lukman whom he said is a member of the Church of Scientology. He alleged that Fashanu's private investigator who was also billed to attend Sunday's forum in DC Mr. Robert Clarke was a top notch of the Church of Scientology and is also known as David Lee. Minton said the church of scientology cannot help Nigeria because all they want was to silence him in his crusade against the church. Members of the audience some of whom were international economists and scholars told Minton that such lending practices that was used to do the deal have infact been condemned by the Brentwoods institutions. He was also asked him if he had been in Nigeria before to see the condition of the Nigerian people from whose govt he made $45 million in four years, but Minton said it was his partner Jeff Schimdt who was always going to Nigeria. He was also asked where was he when Nigeria was also experiencing dire human rights violation under the military like that of IBB with whom he was involved in this buy back deal. Minton said that he has a sense of obligation to help Nigeria and that his partner Jeff Schmidt has a scholarship fund for Nigerians to come to college in the US and that he also contributes to that fund. Those present at the forum included Mr George Noah, a London based journalist who has been involved in widely reporting the Fashanu report, Mrs Chris Anyanwu, Dr Nwankwo, Dr Gbadegesin of the Howard University, Mr Ademola Oyinlola of Tell. Professor Aluko's group also honored Mrs Anyanwu with a presentation of the NDM's first June 12 award for her "grace and courage in defence against tyranny". The forum was NDM's own celebration of the June 12 anniversary. Aluko said they wanted to bring issues involved in the buy back scheme into the open.He and George Noah led in questioning Minton. In his comments Dr Nwankwo called for a commission to investigate the buyback,while Dr Gbadegesin argued against such but cautioned that no judgement can as yet be passed on the Fashanu report in spite of Minton's presentation saying such will not be fair for now.The Professor Aluko led NDM received wide commendations from the audience for organising the forum. http://nigeriaworld.com/news/daily/2000/jun/121.html