By Nehru Odeh
Nigerian pop star Oladapo Oyebanji, better known as D’banj, is currently under the custody of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) .
D’banj was arrested and detained Tuesday for alledgely 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.
The pop star star was arrested after ICPC operatives closed on him, forcing him to surrender himself at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, sources said,.
He was arrested after dodging summons for weeks claiming to be overseas for scheduled concerts each time he was invited to appear for interrogation.
Investigators allege that D’banj colluded with some government officials to fraudulently enrich himself by introducing 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.
D’banj was forced to show up for interrogation at the commission’s office on Tuesday, despite multiple invitations, after the ICPC moved to arrest him.
On arrival, he 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.
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.