Oladapo Oyebanji, better known by his stage name, D’banj, has been arrested and detained by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC).
On Tuesday, the artist was taken into custody as ICPC agents closed in on him, prompting him to turn himself in at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
According to sources close to the situation, D’banj avoided appearing for interrogation over fraud allegations for weeks by stating he was out of the country for concerts.
It has been alleged that the pop star, a wealthy Nigerian superstar, fraudulently diverted hundreds of millions of naira intended for the N-Power project, an empowerment scheme set up by the Nigerian government in 2016 to combat youth unemployment and improve social development.
According to the investigation, D’banj worked with corrupt government officials to add fictitious recipients to the scheme’s payroll. The stipend granted to these recipients was subsequently deposited into accounts reportedly linked to the pop artist.
The ICPC threatened to have the musician arrested either in Nigeria or overseas if he did not appear for questioning on Tuesday after he had ignored repeated invitations to do so.
D’banj was detained after an extensive interrogation session upon his arrival. He requested administrative bail, but authorities denied him, citing concerns that he would skip his trial if set free.
According to our sources, the ICPC may ask the court for an extended detention order on Wednesday so that it may finish its investigation before filing criminal charges against the musician.