Nigerian music artiste, Oladapo Oyebanji popular as D’banj has been arrested and detained by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), for an alleged fraud.
Premium Times reports that he was arrested and detained on Tuesday, December 5, after ICPC operatives closed in on him, forcing him to surrender himself at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.
Premium Times quoted sources familiar with the matter saying that D’banj, had dodged summons for weeks, claiming to be overseas for scheduled concerts each time he was invited to appear for interrogation over the fraud allegation.
Insiders report that a wealthy Nigerian celebrity, is accused of fraudulently diverting hundreds of Naira earmarked by the Nigerian government for the N-Power project, an empowerment programme set up in 2016 to address youth unemployment and increase social development.
Investigators allege that D’banj colluded with some compromised government officials to introduce ghost beneficiaries into the payroll of the scheme. The stipend paid to those beneficiaries are then paid to accounts that have now allegedly been linked to the pop star.
After the musician failed to show up for interrogation despite multiple invitations, the ICPC moved to arrest him anywhere in Nigeria and abroad, forcing him to show up at the commission’s office on Tuesday.
On arrival, D’banj was subjected to a prolonged interrogation session after which he was detained. His plea for administrative bail was rejected by officials who considered him a flight risk.
There are speculations that the ICPC might approach a court today Wednesday for an order to extend the artiste’s detention beyound the legal 24 hour legal duration to enable it complete its investigation before charging the musician to court.
The spokesperson for the ICPC, Azuka Ogugua, could not be reached to comment on this story. Also, D’banj could not be reached to comment on the development.
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