John Fashanu, retired football star and former Gladiators presenter was locked up in a Nigerian cell with 200 other prisoners after being accused of a land scam, it has been claimed.
Fashanu was arrested at his home on the Sun City Estate in Abuja and taken in on suspicion of 'criminal conspiracy', police have said.
Officers claim the former professional footballer was acting for a friend, who was looking to buy some land, and was handed £23,000 to fix the deal.
The friend said Fashanu told him about two men who were able to help purchase 'forgotten land', but later discovered it was not for sale.
It is understood the 54-year-old denied wrongdoing but had agreed to pay the money back.
Police are on the hunt to find other two men who are said to be involved.
Hyacinth Dagala, deputy inspector general said: 'John Fashanu was arrested on July 17 in connection with an allegation of criminal conspiracy and obtaining the sum of N9,550,000 [Nigerian Naira] under false pretence.
'He was granted administrative bail on July 18 but because of his inability to produce the requisite surety on that day, he remained in detention until July 19 when he was released.'
A friend of Fashanu's told a local newspaper it was a business deal 'between friends which went south' and police were asked to 'mediate'.
Nigerian barrister Hyp Egbune also told the newspaper: 'The person who made the complaint has been a mutual friend for quite a number of years and we are more interested in keeping that relationship so we are making amends.
'We hope to do that as soon as we can. It is quite a lot of money so we hope to do it as soon as we can. We want to have this resolved.'
Fashanu, known as 'Fash', started playing football professionally in the 1980s. He moved to Wimbledon FC in 1986 and helped elevate the club to the First Division.
He later moved to Aston Villa in 1994, but sadly his stint was short-lived after being injured in a tackle with Ryan Giggs, forcing him to retire at the end of the season.