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Tuesday 4 July 2000
IBB DISMISSES FASHANU'S JIBES AS ''FAIRY TALES''
Nigeria's former dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida says John Fashanu's allegations against him are nothing but ''fairy tales''. Babangida said he was surprised that his successor General Sani Abacha stole so much. "The revelations surprised me. I am surprised, because I didnít know," Babangida told Newswatch magazine. "I feel bad that society failed to realise that they have a duty to protect whatever values they hold dear to their hearts as far as this country is concerned. At any rate, there are people I like and do respect those who stood against the regime, who are not military officers but civilians who are able to speak out. They didnít mince words and if their views had been heard, he wouldnít have (done enough harm).
Babangida dismissed claims made by former footballer, Fashanu, who accused a retired American investment banker, Bob Minton, of helping the dictator to siphon public funds. He said he was surprised that Fashanu missed the opportunity provided by public forum organised by Professor Bolaji Aluko's Nigerian Democratic Movement in the United States to prove his case. Both Fashanu and Minton were invited to the forum to state their case in the 1988-93 Nigerian debt buyback scheme. Although Minton attended the forum, Fashanu was no where to be found. ''Fashanu's allegations are nothing but fairy tales''. Babangida also denied complicity in the death of Dele Giwa, one of the founding editors of Newswatch. "You the media are not helping us for one to know how he died, who killed him. You are not helping them." The former dictator has long been linked to the murder of the journalist who was killed by a parcel bomb.