Nigeria: ICPC Detains D’Banj Over Diversion of N-Power Fund

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, has arrested and detained Oladapo Oyebanji, known by his stage name, D’banj, over alleged diversion of N-Power fund.

The musician was arrested and detained Tuesday after ICPC operatives closed in on him, to surrender himself at the Agency’s headquarters in Abuja.

A source told Vanguard 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 fraud allegation.

The pop star, a wealthy Nigerian celebrity, is accused of fraudulently diverting hundreds of naira earmarked by the Nigerian government for N- Power project, an empowerment programme set up by the Nigerian government 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, forcing him to show up at the commission’s office on Tuesday.

Sources say, 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 said the musician could not be trusted to attend his trial if released on bail.

Our sources said the ICPC might approach the court on Wednesday for an extended remand order to enable the agency complete its investigation before charging the musician to court.

The spokesperson for the ICPC, Azuka Ogugua, could not be reached to comment for this story, as calls and text messages sent to her telephone line have not been responded too. She is said to be attending a programme abroad.

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