Nigerians react as ICPC detains D’Banj’s over N-power fraud allegation

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There was outrage yesterday over the detention of Nigerian Music star, Oladipo Daniel Oyebanjo, otherwise known by his stage name D’Banj, by
Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) , over his alleged involvement in N-Power Programme fraud case.

Many Nigerians took to social media to express surprise and pour out their annoyance on the matter.

The ICPC said it detained the music star after receiving petitions on the diversion of N-Power funds running into billions of naira, regarding disbursement to beneficiaries by the Federal Government.

N-Power is a scheme established by the Federal Government on June 8, 2016, to address youth unemployment, and help increase social development.

It was gathered that D’banj allegedly conspired with some government officials to engage ghost beneficiaries in the N-Power payment scheme with funds meant for beneficiaries being traced to accounts linked to D’banj.

Spokesperson for ICPC, Azuka Ogugua, while stating the reasons the music star was detained, said many N-Power beneficiaries had complained over non-receipt of the monthly funds , in spite of payment by  government.

She said about 10 persons have been invited by the ICPC over the last few months in connection with the N-Power fraud, noting that they have however, been granted administrative bail after their detention.

Ogugua said several invitations to D’banj to appear before a team of investigators were ignored and not honoured.

She said D’banj turned himself in and was taken into custody at the ICPC Headquarters on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, adding that he is currently assisting investigators to unravel the circumstances of the fraud allegations by the petitioners.

“The investigation will be all-encompassing and also be extended to other collaborators in the fraud and the banks where the beneficiaries’ accounts are domiciled.

“The investigation is ongoing and the Commission prefers not to preempt its outcome and also avoid the frenzy of a media trial,” Ogugua added.

In light of this development, celebrities, who usually react to issues concerning one of their own have remained silent.

However, fans and concerned Nigerians took to their various social media handles to react.

One of such reactions by a Twitter user @Novieve, slammed D’banj for allegedly taking what belongs to unemployed youth.

He tweeted: “I Just heard that D’banj has been arrested for diverting money meant for N-Power. Should a supposed wealthy celebrity take what belongs to unemployed people by introducing ghost workers. I just hope this isn’t true. So bad.

Another tweet, @Isaac Africa said,” When you tell some celebrities to challenge bad governance, most won’t because they themselves are into shady deals with them, but are we really ready for this conversation? Hope it turns out to be untrue”.

A user, @Deji Adesogan, stated: “Incredible. So a wealthy & celebrity musician like D’banj could defraud FG millions of naira intended for the N-Power project, an empowerment initiative meant to combat youth unemployment.

Some Nigerians have also demanded that the ICPC names the government officials that aided the alleged diversion of funds

According to @Idris, “They said D’banj  and some Government officials diverted money. They mentioned D’banj’s name but didn’t mention any govt officials. Government officials are now “Unknown Fraud Men”.

@David Onyemaizu added: “D’banj arrested for fraud? That’s a bit surprising though. Why do some celebrities always go down this path? Even if music stopped paying at some point, is it now so bad that one would resort to diverting N-Power funds. Can’t say I’m not disappointed. I like this guy.”

 

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