Oladapo Oyebanji, better known by his stage as D’banj, has been detained by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The musician was apprehended and held on Tuesday when ICPC agents surrounded him and forced him to turn himself in at the organization’s headquarters in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Insiders claimed that D’banj had evaded summonses for weeks by stating that he was abroad for scheduled concerts each time he was asked to show up for an interrogation regarding a 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 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.
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. She is said to be attending a programme abroad. Being in detention, the musician too could not be reached for comment.