Oladapo Oyebanji, well known by his stage as D’banj, has been detained by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), PREMIUM TIMES can exclusively reveal.
The musician was apprehended and imprisoned on Tuesday when ICPC agents surrounded him and forced him to present himself 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 interview over a fraud charge.
The pop musician, a famous and wealthy Nigerian, is charged with defrauding the Nigerian government of hundreds of millions of naira intended for the N-Power project, an empowerment initiative launched by the Nigerian government in 2016 to combat youth unemployment and advance social development.
Investigators contend that D’banj conspired with some tainted government representatives to add fictitious beneficiaries to the scheme’s payroll. Then, the recipients get payments into accounts that are now purportedly connected to the pop star.
The ICPC sought to arrest the artist anywhere in Nigeria and abroad after he repeatedly declined invitations to appear for questioning; as a result, he was forced to appear at the commission’s office on Tuesday.
D’banj was detained after a protracted interrogation that began when he arrived. Officials rejected his request for administrative bail because they believed the singer could not be trusted to appear at his trial if released on bond.
According to our sources, the ICPC may ask the court for an extended remand order on Wednesday so that it may finish its investigation before bringing the musician to justice.
Azuka Ogugua, the ICPC spokesperson, could not be reached for comment on this article. She reportedly travels abroad for a program. The musician could not be approached for question because they were both in custody.
According to his Wikipedia page, D’banj, 42, also known as the Kokomaster, was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, north-west Nigeria, on June 9, 1980, to a military officer who oversaw an artillery regiment and a businesswoman from Shagamu, Ogun State, south-west Nigeria.
Siblings of the musician are twins named Taiwo and Kehinde Oyebanjo.
D’banj has been a part of the thriving Nigerian music industry since 2004 as a songwriter, performer, rapper, and television personality. He performs R&B, pop, hip-hop, and afrobeat music.