By Rita Okoye, Lagos
Popular Nigerian musician Oladapo Oyebanji, popularly known as D’banj, has been arrested and detained by Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
According to reports, the musician was arrested and detained on Tuesday after ICPC operatives closed in on him, forcing him to surrender himself at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, sources familiar with the matter said.
The pop star, 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 by the Nigerian government in 2016 to address youth unemployment and increase social development.
Investigators alleged that D’banj colluded with some compromised government officials to introduce ghost beneficiaries into the payroll of the scheme
The stipends paid to those beneficiaries were 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 said the musician could not be trusted to attend his trial if released on bail.
It was also gathered that ICPC might approach the court for an extended remand order to enable the agency complete its investigation before charging the musician in court.