JOHN FASHANU IS A CONMAN –ABIGAIL, ESTRANGED WIFE ■ Says he conned her into marriage and business

Last week, Saturday Sun ran an interview by ex-international, John Fashanu in which he painted gory experience with his estranged wife, Abigail Onyekwelu.
In her swift reaction, Abigail in this inter¬view in Abu¬ja, gave a blow-by-blow account of how she met Fashanu and how he conned her into marriage and business.
In this explosive interview, Abigail coun¬tered all the allegations levelled against her by the ex-international that she is violent and loves money, dismissing Fashanu as a fraud and habitual liar. Excerpts:
Your estranged husband said you tried to stab him. Is it true?
It is ridiculous. I didn’t do that.
But he has a live stab. Did he stab him¬self?
I don’t know how he came about it. I don’t know whether he faked it or something. I, too, was surprised when I saw that thing. He had one encounter with my son and I three years ago when I caught him sleeping with my maid. I told him that ‘by the time I come back from church, let it be that you have moved from this house. And if I see you here, I will call the police.’ So, when I went to church with my son and we came back, he had packed every¬thing, including my trinket box and some other things. Immediately, we went to his uncom¬pleted building where he moved to.Uncompleted building? Where?
Sun City.
Which year was this?
Three years ago. When we got in there, my son was like ‘can you please give my mother the trinket box so that we can go?’ He told my son to excuse us and my son said, ‘enough of your manipulations, I am not going to leave here, give us the trinket box and let us go.’ Im¬mediately, he was like pushing my son a little bit towards the door. When he got to the door, he put his hand by the left side of it and pulled his karate sword from the sachet. And imme¬diately he pulled it, my son fled. My son was only 15 years. He fled and ran outside. And he went back inside. When he got inside, I called him and said John Fash, meet us at the police station, we are moving to the police station to report. When I left, I talked to myself that why should I go to the police station to wash my dirty linen and since this man has moved from my house, let’s shut our doors and I will call people later to go and talk to him about bring¬ing back what he took from me.
He took your trinket?
Did he break into your room?
He was living in my house and I told him af¬ter catching him with my maid that by the time I come back from church, ‘I don’t wanna see you, move.’
So, he left with the trinket?
How long did you know him? Did you do due diligence or you fell for the star?
Anyway, I wasn’t looking for a star. He met me with my daughter as Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) and somebody in¬troduced him to us. That was my first time of meeting him and I don’t know anything about him. Even though I have heard about one John Fashanu that played football in Europe, I don’t know much.
He must have had some good qualities before you decided to settle with him?
Not at all! Let me tell you how we met: it is the same tactics he used on many people to defraud them, that was how he obtained me by false pretence. The way he defrauds pastors, the way he comes into them, the way he comes into people, that was how he got me because when he came there and immediately we were introduced to him, he said waooooh, did we watch Oceanic Bank football thing that he did? I said well, I didn’t know about it, what is it all about? I didn’t know him too well because I wasn’t a football addict.
So, what did you fall for?
I didn’t fall for anything because he gradual¬ly came in. First of all, he said, do you have any footballer I can help? I said yeah, I have a son.
He conned you?
Are you going to say he conned you into marriage and business?
Exactly! So, we started from talking football and after a while, he said waoooh, that he noticed that I know so many peo¬ple, that we can do business together and he would help me by being my umbrella, that it is not good for a woman to be alone here, that he has seen my incapacitations about trying to…
He manipulated your emotions?
Exactly! So, when he gave me a good picture of what it was going to be for two of us to do business, I bought it. Who does not want it? And we started from business.
How soon did it take to discover the character he was?
After a while, I noticed that when we do business, he will take the whole money. And I was like, what is going on? When I asked him, he will tell me so much stories that he is owing this person, he is owing that person.
How long did you then discover he was a con man? Was it the first year, second year or third year?
That was very difficult. All the pastors he defrauded, he still goes to some of them be¬cause when you catch him in one, he will turn around and say, deliver me. He will tell you deliver me and some he will accept, admit and offer himself to you to be prayed for. So many of these things and he will study you and know where to go. He found out that I am prayerful and he would always remind me that you led me to Christ, don’t throw me away like that. The mistake I made was thinking that an adult like him was really going to change.
You discovered that footballers were coming and he promised them…?
I thought he was real. People were coming, but one thing I noticed is that anytime he is dis¬cussing with footballers, when I come out, he won’t talk anymore. I asked him why, he said, well… I can’t remember what he said, but I no¬ticed he is a miser.
He doesn’t spend money?
At all.
What does he do with his money?
Does he have? The only money he was making was from those footballers and he told me he was using the money to send them abroad.
He said you love too much money. Is it true?
Money? How will I love money and I ac¬cepted a man who came with legged Benz with two bags when he was chased out of Lagos. I got him a place in Lagos to keep his stuff. He called me and said he had challenges and they moved him out. So many stories that I cannot even remember, but all I did was to assist him by sending him to somebody who will help him keep his things. And he came to my house with two bags and with legged Benz. I gave him a car and driver because he didn’t know any¬where in Abuja. Before then, we had already started doing business together, but nothing had come out of it. Each time he came at that time, he will stay at Nnanet suites. He told me he is a director and at a point, he said there was something they started doing, that one of the girls that work there, they said he was sleeping with a sales girl or something. Some rumours. That was what he told me. He told me it was a lie and I believed him and that when he comes, they will tell him that there is no room.
He has attraction for lowly people?
Yeah! He told me two things because each time he wants me to accept him back, he will tell me one story. I am not just say¬ing this for anything; I want him to stop because some people are suffering. We all have children because what he told me, two things, and that is why I continue praying for him. He told me that he is not happy each time he remembers that his mother dropped him in an orphanage while the mother was alive. He said that each time he remembers it, he wants to mete it out to women, especially black women and most especially, the un¬derprivileged ones because they remind him of while he suf¬fered, that they have to pay back.
Like a psychological affliction?
Yes. That is why when he pleads and tells me that kind of thing, as a Christian, I would say ok, since he could say this. I never knew he had found a way to always manipulate me.
You are not violent?
That word ‘violent,’ I run away from people who are violent. Anybody that knows me knows that you can have everything. But leave me, I don’t want to fight, I don’t want to shout. The way he is shouting in the media now, is the way he shouts when you are trying to draw his attention to something. So, that is why I left him.
He said you are always asking for too much money. Is it true?
Oh my God! He doesn’t have money. This guy does not have money. If he has money, he won’t be defrauding footballers. If he was giving me part of it, I would have known he wasn’t do¬ing what he said he would do. He also told me one day that the other reason he came to apologize again is that when the white people came to Africa to take slaves, when they sleep with the African women in the ship, each one that dies, they throw her into the river and those underprivileged ones, remind him of the slaves. He also said that when the thought comes up into his head, he would like to do it and it doesn’t cost him money, like N500, N100 and he would promise them heaven and earth. I was like, what is going on? There is a place where he said I don’t bear his name. How will you marry a husband, somebody like John Fashanu…?
You didn’t bear his name?
I don’t.
Because I saw all these things and I saw the things he said and I said to myself, I don’t wanna… In fact, I knew I was just looking for a way to get out of the marriage. I was looking for a way to get out because I said this guy; I don’t understand what is wrong. You said I should be praying for you and when I pray in the house, you start banging doors, knocking things. I asked him one day, I said, have you ever heard me praying? Do I make noise when I pray? I said I want to know how it disturbs you because he said the prayer disturbs him.
Does he go to church?
Waoooh! He goes to church, but he says he goes to church to get close to the pastors, that he is the only one who knows how to defraud them and that they equally socialize and meet people that would bring footballers. By the time his case starts, you would see that majority of people that brought footballers, he met them in church. He met this woman (pointing at a lady who was present during the time of this interview) at the Synagogue.
He said you stole N1 million from him. Is it true?
I already know this guy. There was a time he said he was go¬ing to Columbia and he didn’t tell me that there were people in his house. And somebody called me that somebody came with a paper that they want to sell John Fashanu’s house. I was like, I am not interested. But I remember that if they sell that house, he would die because that is the only thing he has. I felt for him. I felt for him and before I knew it, another person called me. His neighbour called me that somebody was threatening them and gave them a quit notice to leave in 24 hours and then, I took it seriously. There is a security company I am registered with. I called them to come. Their police came and we all went. When we got there, we asked the wife of the person that called me, where are the people? She said they are here.
So, it was not that you brought armed people to his house?
Not at all. I am a lawyer. I wouldn’t do something that is against the law. So, when they showed us the people, I saw two women. Immediately the lady pointed at them and as I was coming close, one moved the other one and that one threw a bunch of keys.
So, you are saying it is the sword from his Karate that cut him?
I don’t even know whether anything cut him. But the police said he came and wrapped his right hand with one big bandage that night and told the police that my son cut his hand.
Where was he staying at that time?
Sun City. That was the day I threw him out of my house.
Did you live in Sun City?
Not at all. We went to collect my trinket box he took away while packing out of my house. The police invited me and I took my time and went the next day. When I got there, they saw my son and said this boy, this small boy, kaiiiii, that they thought he was talking of one big man like that. And they looked at me and said this oyinbo man sef. How is it that he brought his wife and his son to the police station? I told them no, that I want the case to go to court because he actually pulled something and tried to hurt my son. They started pleading with me that I should leave him, he doesn’t have sense, na one yeye oyibo man and that even when he came in the morning, they didn’t see that band-age again, that he doesn’t have sense, that he was even trying to show them one small scratch that they couldn’t see. So, I even suspect that picture I saw. It is fake. See the way he stood like a prisoner and took it so that he would win sympathy because he says he wants to be minister of sports in this government. He had already told me that if Goodluck comes back, there is an arrangement that he would be minister of sports.
But Goodluck didn’t come back?
Yes. I believe that is what he is still stressing. Didn’t you see the interview? He went down and started talking about minister again. I believe he thought that this is how to appeal to public sentiment that oh, his wife wants to… I feel bad when I hear that I want to kill. I am a Christian. I have a calling. I am an evan¬gelist. In fact, I wear God. How can I be violent? How can a mother of four children that brought them up alone be violent? I should have sent my adolescent children away because it is not easy to take care of adolescents.
So, what is his grouse against you?
And I saw a girl. They posted the picture of a girl. I don’t know maybe he did something to the girl’s eye and took the picture and placed there. That guy is a crook. I was looking at this thing. This thing made me not to believe anything that the press writes except if I know because if it was about some¬body else, I would have been shouting waooooh, how can this woman be this violent? Carrying knife? Why will I carry knife when I have sent him away from my house and I only went to…? You know that was not the first time I caught this guy. The first time I sent him away from my house was with my house¬girl and later on, after I went to his house that time I heard that they were going to sell his house… Do you know why I went to his house? There was a day I had a dream and I told him that I had a dream and suddenly saw you and your house on fire. He came to my house to see me at NNPC quarters. Meanwhile, my house is a four-bedroom flat where he met me. I don’t live in two-bedroom flat. I don’t know what he is talking. I told him and I started fasting. The third day of the fasting, he told me to accompany him to Sun City, that there is a bishop coming from London who is going to bring his son for academy. At that time, I thought he was still trying to do something that was difficult for him. That is why I decided to help, to start looking into what he is doing to see how I can advise. I thought his challenge was lack of wisdom, but it was later I found out that he wasn’t doing anything. When I got to that place, I saw the bishop who came from London with his son.
To join academy?
To join academy. When we got there and before the bishop came, he went into the kitchen because I was a visitor, I sat in the sitting room because we no longer have…
Sexual relationship?
Yes. I came, I sat and I kept my bag and he went in to warm something in the oven. I didn’t know what he went to do. I was busy on the phone with my sister. What I heard was a big bang, kpoaaaaaaaaaah! Everywhere!
What happened?
I threw my phone away and I went close to check. It was fire as if the fire had burnt the whole night. He said he opened the gas, he turned it on and before he could put the match, the thing exploded. I don’t know what happened. But that was the third day of my fasting for this man. So, immediately it happened, I heard the thing threw him to the back door and threw him out. The whole hair in his body was burnt. If not that he was wear¬ing boxers, his private part would have got burnt. The whole body – eyes; every hair in his body was wiped out and all over his body. One of the boys then ran and brought something, en¬gine oil or whatever to apply on his body.
What year was this?
Two years ago. They applied everything and the gateman said ha, oga, we thank God oooo sey this fire no burn you. He said how can this fire burn me? Rather than losing this house, I will throw myself into this fire and it will burn all of us. So, when I remember that statement when I heard that somebody was going to sell his house, I said this man will just commit suicide if they sell this house. I, as a Christian, I am not fighting him. We are not quarrelling. I just saw a man that is incapacitated. That is what I thought. So, I separated myself from sexual relationship.
And his brother also committed suicide?
Yes. He told me he was happy about it, that the brother was standing on his way.
Is it his elder brother or younger?
His elder brother. That the brother was mean, they always called him and asked him, are you Justin? That he never allowed him to shine, and by the time he was dead, after the burial, people left and he went behind and stood. They thought he stood to mourn, but he laughed and said final-ly, he is out of the way. How will I bear the name of such man? At that time, he used to tell me we are in for this marriage, you can’t leave me or I destroy you, sometimes, I would die.
Are you happier now?
Ohhhhhhhh! I was shocked when a paper called me that he spoke to them and I said I thought I had got away from this thing because I was living my life. For one year, he didn’t know where I was. I never contacted him. Even when those he was using to mediate call me, I stopped taking their calls. When I heard John Fashanu, I said my God ohhhhhh! Because I even denied that I married him. When some people called me, I said but you know we didn’t actually marry.
Is the divorce on?
I don’t know. He said he filed. But nobody served me.
So, you are not married to him again?
I am not married again because I have been wanting to go for divorce. That is why last year, I went to MTN and got… because he was looking for a way to get me. Sometimes, he would go to the police and the police would call me that John Fashanu wants me to come, that there is some¬thing. I told them no, I am not coming.
He said that you told him that God gave you money through him. Is it true?
God forbid! Which money? He should state it that he got this money from me and gave me. Simple! That is the way he should put it. He was stealing from me. Initially, I was like nobody steals in my house – when he was living in my house. When I keep money, sometimes, I would notice that N50,000 has gone out of it. Some¬times I keep money, I would notice that… you know, just like that. I was like, what was going on? And one day, I caught him. Do you know how I caught him? He saw my son and he felt they were not happy with him. Because of the kind of character he exhibits, everybody is tired, everybody wants him to go. So, he wanted to make that my son happy. He went to my bag and stole N50,000 and as he was removing his hand from the bag, I caught him and he told me sorry, that he wanted to give the money to my son to make him happy because they were no longer happy with him. It was at that point I knew he was the one removing those money from my bag. I didn’t scold him. What I did was that I stopped keeping money in my room.
So, your summary is that he has got a problem?
Yes. I believe he has a problem.
Psychological problem?
He has psychological problem. He has it. He needs help.
He needs deliverance?
I don’t know what he needs because for you to deliver somebody, the person has to submit. All these they beat a girl, they don’t beat a girl, he is trying to use it to cover up the main thing. The main reason I abandoned this man is fraud because I said I have to distance myself. One, so that some boys would not think if they see me living well, they think it is their money. Two, people are coming to fight every day. Old men are coming to cry, widows are coming to cry in my house before he left. And even in Sun City, I heard they continued because they would al¬ways call me when they come to Sun City that they are by the door, they thought we are still married and maybe I was not home. They will call me and say, call your husband to give us our money. People will be crying up and down, call¬ing my phone. I said these could be my children, let me leave here and distance myself from this fraud.
Defrauding people?
Not only footballers. People will be calling up and down. There are people who said they were calling him every time and he would be fighting them. They said they gave him mon¬ey when he was doing tyre protection job. I didn’t know him at that time. They said he collected their N10 million.
He set up an eatery around the gate also?
When he set that thing up, that was when I was like, oh my God! I was living alone. I had sent him away. I was like, this man, what will I do? I went to my pastor and I said I want to divorce this man before he finished disgrac¬ing me. He came to my pastor and started begging, that he was willing, that this and that and if it was about women, and pastor said too many stories.
He is a very sharp man?
Yes. He was pleading that he would die if I leave him. And pastor said this woman, a lot of things you even did to this woman (my pastor is alive), if you do them to another woman, the woman will kill you, be careful because if not this woman, it could be another person. I can’t advise this woman to live with you, everybody separate. I liked the way she separated, you too should go, everybody go. And the pastor told me to leave the divorce. I have got everything ready. The lawyer I spoke with to handle the case is Barrister Tag¬bo Ike. Last year August, I got MTN track of my calls to prove some things he was trying to… Because he was like trying to make me… He knows I am somebody that I don’t want to be disgraced and he is always using it on me like when he comes to my house, he will be banging, shouting. Is that how somebody’s wife does? Open the door for your husband and I will quickly come and open the door. When I open the door, I have a friend in the house whose business wasn’t doing well. I got her a job in my office. She doesn’t live in Abuja. Her family does not live here and some people owe her husband. I said instead of waiting for your money, come and take a job in my office. She has been a wonderful friend. So, when she came to Abuja, I had to put her in my house. I was living alone.
Is she the lady he…
(Cuts in) Exactly! I was living alone. So, I have right to bring anybody I want. That lady is like a sister and my children do not joke with her.
So, nothing like any sexual relation¬ship?
What are you talking about? I don’t know if women and women have sexual re¬lationship because I don’t even understand it. I don’t understand such. Do I have such relationship and he lived with me for two years and he didn’t notice it? I don’t even understand this kind of rubbish. He is a man drowning, that is why he is talking rubbish.
What you are saying is that he is trying to tie you?
He told me that I must marry him, that we are together in this thing. He said he can never leave me. My pastor is a witness, that he would never and he would not allow the court to give me divorce. That was why I went to the extent of after I had gone to save his house from being sold, we took those people to the place. That was it. When I was leaving, he called me back again and said ooooo, well done sweetie, well done, well done. But I want you to go back now, they have stolen my N400,000 somebody gave them to keep for me, the women. I said stop it because I knew it was a lie because he is always like that. Anytime he has challenges with somebody, I hear him saying ok, I will finish this, I will tell the police you stole my money.
I wasn’t even interested anymore be¬cause when we got to the police, I asked him, who are those two women in your house? You didn’t even tell me that there were people there. He said one is his new cook and the other one is somebody else; that he doesn’t really know. I asked him who the girl is and he said a sister. I said, which sister, that I have not met any of your sisters? He said from my mother’s side. I said John, have you forgotten your mother is from Congo and this lady is Yoruba, from Ogun? What kind of a thing is this?
Is the mother from Congo?

From that side. The mother is not from Nigeria. It is not Congo, but there is one is¬land outside the country. We all know nah. The mother is not a Nigerian.
The father is from where?
Nigeria. So, I said I am not involved any¬more. And when we got there, I called you and you said this girl is your cousin. But when we got to the police, I was like this is the cook, I don’t know this one. The girl shouted no, I am sleeping with him. The girl was shouting.
So, it was three years of trouble?
Trauma and I couldn’t tell people. He would always tell me, please save me. There was a time they wanted to publish something and some people called him. I was at the salon, I wasn’t living with him. They called him to ask ‘are you no longer living with your wife, we heard this and heard that.’ Immediately, he told me that he asked them to hold on that he was go¬ing home to meet the wife so that they can speak with the wife. He told them that no problem that we live together. He asked me where I was and I told him I was in the salon in my estate. He got there and immediately came to me and whispered, please come, come, come. He took me to one corner. He just pulled me, we went to one corner and he knelt down and said please, save me, save me. I said what is it? Tell them, tell them. He was dictating. I said what? I was telling them and I said are you ok? He said thank you so much, that is why I like you. He left. It was when I stopped he told me that he doesn’t like prayers because sometimes when he comes to my house, I would say let’s pray. He said I told you I don’t like prayers, but I said when you go to church you are always close to pastors, making sure that you become their assistant or something. He said, you know, they are the easiest people to defraud once you are very close to them and show them that you like what they are doing and you are part of it. And also, when I go to church, the pastors will introduce me to people, I will collect money. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke.
So, it is a natural high?
He doesn’t drink?
He does not smoke.
Only women?
Only women. That is not my challenge because I wasn’t interested. I didn’t marry him to keep him away from the women be¬cause we had already started business.
You thought you could have a syn¬ergy, a man with you?
Yes. I gave him a car when he trekked to my house and told me that all the hotels were fully booked. He told me the truth later. He told me the truth later that some¬body is saying that he is sleeping with one girl that was working there and they fired the girl because of him and he thinks that was why they were usingmugu mugu. He always uses mugu mugu, saying mugu mugu him. Anyway, that place where he is a director, he is a ceremonial director. You know what he does? He goes to people and sell himself: you know I am John Fashanu, if you put me as director or put my name as this and give me… The only thing he used to get is free accommodation. He always tries to, which is not wrong for somebody trying to use what he has legally to get something because he felt he has got a name that he could sell to them and they give him free accommodation. But not going to defraud very poor people and at the end of the day, those boys will turn back on the society.
We have records of more than 50 boys. So, some of these things, he is trying to di¬vert attention as if women is our problem. It is not our problem. He was like that, I met him like that and it continued like that. It was not our problem. And all those times I was still assisting him in some things and still being nice to him for two years, we were not sleeping together; yet, I was still nice to him. Why will I chase flies from shit? Am I gonna eat it? So, why will I fight any woman?
Do you know why he is shouting, going to the press? He always tells me that attack is the best form of defence because he has had information that the boys are now rally¬ing round. They have gotten a lawyer, they want to prosecute the matter, they want to do demonstration. So, he wants to make it look like it is all about me, him or… He wants to connect it to me. So, he is just covering up with all these shouting. Ask yourself, why would a man who said he is tired of me and wants to divorce me be shouting. Am I not the one who is supposed to be shouting? So, there is something behind the shouting to all the pressmen around the world. He called papers and told them that I was violent, I was using knife and they asked him why. Why did she use those things on you? He said because he caught me with a woman he said is my house girl. That was how it started and when they asked me, I told them how it happened, that it was two women the second time. First time was one, my nanny. So, he started it and now, he is shouting up and down because footballers saw it and they have been rallying round. He has been calling them, pleading with them. He has been threatening some that if he gets them in Abuja, he would shoot all of them and telling some of them that if they ever go and report him or talk to the press, he would send their names to all the football clubs in Europe and they will never play football in their lives again. And the boys, from where they are coming from, they believed. Some of them, as I heard, are afraid to come to Abuja to report their matter. Some of the parents are afraid of him shooting their children because even their parents, some of them, they went to his house to ask for their money and he brought gun out. He said that this is Nigeria, that anything can happen and that he has licence to shoot, he has four guns.


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