A Nigerian musician, Oladapo Oyebanji, famously known as D’banj has been arrested and detained by anti-graft agency, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over fraud allegations.
The musician was arrested and detained Tuesday after ICPC operatives closed in on him, forcing him to surrender himself at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
D’banj had dodged summons for weeks, claiming to be overseas for scheduled concerts each time he was invited to appear for interrogation over allegations.
The pop star, a wealthy Nigerian celebrity, is accused of fraudulently diverting some funds 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 government officials to introduce ghost beneficiaries into the payroll of the scheme. The stipends paid to those beneficiaries were subsequently paid to accounts later allegedly linked to the celebrity.
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 interrogated and later 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 learnt that 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.