Last updated on December 9th, 2022 at 09:54 pm
Background to D’banj’s detention by ICPC
Oladapo Oyebanjo known by his stage name D’banj reported himself at the ICPC office in Abuja at about 14:00 on Monday, December 5, 2022, according to his lawyers.
ICPC officials told him it was late and asked the singer to report on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, and that’s when he was detained.
His detention came to public knowledge on Wednesday, December 7, 2022. He was accused of colluding with staff members of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to divert N-Power funds.
He was the NSIP ambassador before the allegation but the ministry denied it.
He was released on self-recognizance on Friday, December 9, 2022 after the anti-graft agency failed to charge him to court
Infomediang.com (formerly infobase.com.ng) is one of the first online platforms that has been reporting N-Power news in-depth since 2016 when the portal of the youth empowerment programme opened on June 8, 2016.
So, we’ll give you details of the detention (‘arrest’) of a Nigerian singer by the ICPC in Abuja on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, and how D’banj became the brand ambassador of the youth empowerment programme.
ICPC is Nigeria’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission.
Why was D’banj arrested?
Mr Oladapo was arrested in connection with the alleged diversion of millions of Naira meant for the payment of the monthly stipends of the beneficiaries of the programme.
A report which was first published by The Premium Times, Nigeria’s foremost investigative news platform, reported that it was alleged that the D’banj colluded with some employees of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, to introduce ghost beneficiaries into the payroll of N-Power.
According to the allegation, the stipends meant for genuine beneficiaries were paid to the ghost N-Power beneficiaries and were then paid to accounts linked to D’banj.
The celebrity was said to have reported himself for questioning at the ICPC headquarters in Abuja and was subsequently detained for further questioning.
When the news of his arrest broke on Wednesday – though he had been with the ICPC on Tuesday – Nigerians who are keenly interested in the matter said D’banj was a brand ambassador for the youth empowerment programme.
So, what exactly are people who dug out the picture of D’banj and Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs insinuating?
Well, there was a quick response from Nneka Ikem, media aid to the minister, calling on Nigerians to disregard any link between the minister and the celebrity:
“The FMHDSD wishes to officially state that it has no official engagement with @iamdbanj. The artiste only attended the launch of the @npower_ng Batch C launch where he took a photograph with the Hon Minister. Kindly disregard any official link to the Hon Minister @Sadiya_farouq”@nnekaikem1
Is D’banj N-Power Ambassador?
YES, D’banj is a brand ambassador of NSIP programme. The latest denial by the ministry is because of the alleged fraud investigation against the Nigerian star. No court has pronounced him guilty of the allegations.
On Monday, August 23, 2021, the federal government in a flamboyant ceremony in Abuja flagged off batch C1 of the N-Power programme in Abuja, according to Vanguard news.
At the event, D’banj was seen taking pictures with Sadiya. And he who was elated and posted on his official Instagram handle @iambangalee that he was honored to be the official brand ambassador for National Social Investment Program (NSIP).
At the event, D’banj officially unveiled Batch C1 of the programme and announced that he was committed to supporting the minister in the ministry’s fight against joblessness and poverty across Nigeria.
His post reads:
“Yesterday was not just historic, it was a milestone. I was honored as the Brand Ambassador for National Social Investmemt Program (NSIP) and I unveiled N-POWER BATCH C1, one of the many products of NSIP .
“One million youths will be carefully selected and will be given N30,000 each month for the period of a year while they sharpen their proficiency in their chosen field of choice.
“We cannot do enough to eradicate poverty as clearly stated by The Hon. Minister Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hon. Sadiya Umar Farouq, but as an ambassador I’m dedicated to this vision and open for creative ideas and strategies to bring down the walls of poverty in Nigeria.
“My heartfelt congratulations to the 500,000 beneficiaries of the stream 1 of batch C and I also indulge them to make the most of this opportunity. Congratulations and God bless the honorable minister and each ministry fighting the good fight against poverty,
“God bless our people and God bless Nigeria. If you are still sitting down and not standing to fight poverty and you are on a long thing”.
According to the above Instagram post D’banj is N-Power ambassador and there was no rebuttal from the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs when he made the claim.@iambangalee
Did NSIP Counter D’banj’s claim?
The inability of the officials of the ministry to immediately issue a statement in August 2021 that the artiste was not appointed as NSIP brand ambassador shows that something is amiss.
At Actionable Info (infomediang.com), we want to believe that the latest swift response from the ministry was meant to abandon D’banj to face the allegations of fraud against him all alone.
Did D’banj involve himself in N-Power fraud?
In law, people are not guilty until proven in court. In essence, an accused person is innocent until proven guilty by the court.
At the time of this report, only D’banj’s name was made public in the media. The ICPC has not publicly named a single person from the ministry who they claim allegedly colluded with the Nigerian singer to defraud the government of monies running into millions of naira.
According to a Nigerian lawyer and a public commentator, Segun Awosanya popularly known as SEGAL, “We must be very careful as a people how we make conclusions based on headlines. People are not guilty until proven innocent but innocent until proven guilty.”
Is D’banj guilty of the fraud allegations?
At the time of this report, D’banj has not been proven guilty by a court, what is flying around can be classified as a media trial.
We hope that ICPC will charge him in court if they have enough evidence to nail him for the fraud allegations.
And according to his lawyers, Law Corridor, in a statement signed by Maryam Musa described the arrest of the singer as “malicious and prejudicial.”
“It is instructive to state foremost that the report concerning the arrest and detention of Mr Oladapo Oyebanjo is misconceived, malicious and prejudicial to the justice system anywhere in the world and we would advise that the general public be well guided.”
“Emphatically and as a matter of policy, D’banj and his management do not engage in business dealings unless they are legitimate, properly documented and obtainable in law.”
ICPC releases D’banj on self-recognizance
Seventy-two hours after his detention by the ICPC, Nigeria’s popular musician, Daniel Oladapo aka D’Banj was released on Friday, December 9, 2022, on self-recognizance.
His lawyer Barr. Pelumi Olajengbesi, challenged the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs to name the officials of her ministry who she claimed colluded with the singer to defraud the NSIP.
Olajengbesi secured the release of D’banj after nothing incriminating was found on him while the ICPC failed to charge him to court more than 24 hours after his detention.
“Nigerians must be told the truth that D’banj) is clean and have no criminal or fraud record. It, however, an embarrassment to the entire country that such a huge allegation of N900m fraud against a public figure without any evidence. The ICPC Chairman, Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN) and the entire officers of the ICPC must be deeply sad and embarrassed,” D’banj’s lawyer said in a statement.
Sadiya Farouq Must Explain the Money Traced to D’banj
Similarly, Barr. Olajengbesi has challenged Sadiya Farouq to explain to the world the money traced to D’banj’s account and the amount.
“We still demand that the minister provide the details of the government authority D’banj allegedly collaborated with and provide the account and N-power funds allegedly traced to Dbanj’s account.”
I have no business with fraud – D’banj
Meanwhile, the popular singer said he has no business with fraud, saying his entire life has been about entertainment.
He said, “I was invited on an ongoing investigation in ICPC. I have assisted the commission with all I know and I am confident in their capacity to unravel the truth.
“I have no business with fraud, all I do is chop life,” he said on his social media handles.
At the time of this report, the ICPC and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs who ordered his arrest are yet to issue any statement.
ICPC and the ministry might have a day in court to provide evidence against the popular Nigerian singer.
The questions Nigerians are asking about D’banj’s arrest:
1) Who are the government officials that allegedly colluded with D’banj to perpetrate the N-Power fraud?
2) How many ghost N-Power beneficiaries were discovered in the NSIP payroll?
3) How much has the ministry lost to the fraud?
4) Weting concern D’banj with N-Power money? Is he an accountant or an employee of the youth empowerment programme?
5) Does being an NSIP ambassador give D’banj access to the N-Power fund?
6) Did anyone forge documents using D’banj’s name?
7) Who are the culprit within the ministry?
8) How many officials of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs have been invited for questioning for this allegation?
9) Why would ICPC detain D’banj when he voluntarily reported himself at the anti-corruption agency’s headquarters?
10) Is the current investigation a reaction to the report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that 133 million Nigerians are living in multi-dimensional poverty which counters the claim of the government that the N-Power programme reduced poverty?
The accused (D’banj) ‘s real name is Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo. He is a popular Nigerian singer, songwriter, rapper and co-founder of Mo’ Hits Records.
At the time of D’banj’s arrest by ICPC, he was an N-Power brand ambassador. He ceases to be the ambassador of the NSIP programme until the ministry of humanitarian affairs issues a statement that they’ve taken off that privilege from the music star.