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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 <stacybrooks@lisatrust.net>
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 Miscavige
Author:
Bob Minton <info@lisatrust.net>
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 <rkeller@voicenet.com>
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