The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) has detained afrobeat musician D’Banj on accusations of fraudulently transferring cash in order to defraud the N-Power project.
According to people with knowledge of the matter who talked to PREMIUM TIMES, the artist was seized and detained on Tuesday after ICPC officers encircled him and compelled him to appear at the organization’s headquarters in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.
According to insiders, D’banj allegedly avoided summonses for weeks by claiming that he was away performing at scheduled concerts each time he was called to appear for an interrogation over allegations.
The well-known and wealthy Nigerian music star is accused of stealing money meant for the N-Power project, an empowerment program that the country’s government created in 2016 to fight youth unemployment and boost social development.
According to investigators, D’banj and a few government officials plotted to add phony beneficiaries to the scheme’s payroll. After being paid to the beneficiaries, the stipends were then transferred to accounts that were allegedly linked to the celebrity.
After the artist repeatedly declined invitations to appear for questioning, the ICPC sought to have him arrested anywhere in Nigeria and abroad; as a result, he was made to appear at the commission’s office on Tuesday.
Upon arriving, D’banj was interrogated before being brought into custody. Because they did not trust the musician to present at his trial if released on bond, officials denied his plea for administrative bail.
Obtainable information indicates that the ICPC might ask the court for an extension of the musician’s detention period on Wednesday so that the organization can complete its investigation before presenting the musician to a judge.
The ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, was not available for comment on this article. According to reports, she takes a program overseas.
The Nigerian artist D’banj is no stranger to controversy. In June 2020, he became involved in a complex incident involving the alleged rape of a woman in 2018.
On December 31, 2018, D’banj allegedly assaulted a friend in a hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos, according to Nigerian model scout Benjamin Ese.