Singer D’banj’s Lawyers Respond To Funds Diversion Allegation, Caution ICPC

Nigerian singer and songwriter, Oladapo Oyebanjo popularly known as D’banj, has denied the allegations of fraudulent diversion of funds meant for the beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s economic empowerment programme, N-Power.

Recall that the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) reportedly detained D’banj on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, after being questioned by officials over a funds diversion allegation.

The commission also issued a statement on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, to confirm the development, stating that the case “will be all-encompassing and also be extended to other collaborators”.

D’banj reacts: Meanwhile, reacting to the development, the singer’s lawyers, Law Corridor, described reports of D’banj’s arrest as “malicious and prejudicial,” 

In a statement issued on Wednesday and signed by Maryam Musa, the law firm’s assistant team head, litigation, D’banj’s representatives urged the ICPC to carry out a thorough investigation of the matter and cautioned the commission against embarking on any media trial.

The statement partyy read: “The media is awash with reports of Oladapo Oyebanjo (D’banj) in ICPC custody with regards to unestablished (sic) allegations of fraud for which it has become crucial to make the following statement for the purpose of clarity and to set public records straight.

“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.

Lawyers say D’banj is innocent: While admitting that the singer is currently being investigated by the ICPC for the alleged diversion of N-POWER funds, the solicitors expressed the belief that the commission will maintain professionalism in handling the matter.

The statement also exonerated D’banj from having any contractual or incidental relationship with anyone within or outside the government to have access to the disbursement of government funds through any agency or its subsidiaries.

On the claims that the singer had severally declined invitations to show up at the ICPC office for questioning until he was threatened with an arrest, the statement said D’banj had communicated his reason for non-appearance to the commission via a letter by his attorneys.

The statement further read: “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.

“D’banj was officially invited by the ICPC in respect of the investigation a month ago. However, he sent in letters through his attorneys to the commission in respect of his schedule in South Africa and promised to visit the commission when he returned.

“On Monday, December 5, 2022, D’banj freely and of his law-abiding accord went to the commission at about 2pm immediately he arrived Abuja. The officers of the commission advised that he returned the following day, as it was late for any interview on the said Monday.

“D’banj returned to the commission the following day as earlier agreed and voluntarily submitted himself to the commission to make their inquiry and investigation.

Lawyers call for punishment for framers: The singer’s legal representatives, while insisting on a thorough investigation, said that characters attempting to bring him (D’banj) into such ridiculous activities must be brought to book.

The statement concluded: “It is inconceivable that D’banj whose career is a reference point for hard work, diligence and honesty would lend his reputation built steadfastly over the years to acts of such accusations which he must now stoically suffer through while clearing his name.

“The general public is advised to resist the urge to buy into media sensationalism, which is unsurprising but regardless harmful to the course for the truth which D’banj has willing set himself on by honouring the ICPC’s summons.

“We retain the hope that the thoroughness of the ICPC will in no time exonerate D’banj of all allegations levelled against his person, and it is for this reason that we implore the general public to stay guarded against malicious traducers who may be attempting to soil his image for their own purposes.”

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