Following his continued detention by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), solicitors of the famous singer and songwriter Oladapo Oyebanjo, known as Dbanj, have again called on the body to effect his release.
The pop star is accused of allegedly fraudulently diverting hundreds of millions of naira earmarked by the Nigerian government for the N-Power project, an empowerment programme set up in 2016 to address youth unemployment and increase social development.
In a statement on Thursday, his lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, said the singer has dutifully cooperated with the Commission during their investigation.
Mr Olajengbesi added that D’banj has also demonstrated a shared zeal to help the Commission make its impassioned and honest findings on the matter, as he is interested in clearing his name.
In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, D’banj’s attorney said that the commission has carried out all the necessary checks but has continued to delay the singer’s release.
He said, “They have checked all his accounts, and to their satisfaction, there is nothing relating to N-Power in his account. Nothing incriminating was found on him. His release has been processed, but the delay is a need for an order from above.”
In a statement earlier, Mr Olajengbesi described the allegation brought against D’banj, an entrepreneur, as false, saying that his immediate release has become expedient under the law and constitutional convention.
“Investigators of the Commission have, between the 6th and 7th of December 2022, thoroughly examined D’banj’s honest and straightforward answers to all its inquiries to the mutual satisfaction of the Commission and his legal representatives.
“Consequently, after Wednesday’s interview session, we were informed he will be released as a matter of course, having found nothing on him and with no other grounds for his continued detention. However, the Chairman of the Commission was required to sign off on his immediate release before it could be effected, and that never happened,” he said.
According to Mr Olajengbesi, although Dbanj, who owns DB Records, has been getting the required legal representation, the singer believes that he is somehow the victim of targeted blackmail or faceless malice from certain quarters with perhaps vested interest in his downfall.
Describing the allegations as laughable and deliberate publicity, the lawyer said that Dbanj, 42, is fully ready and willing to cooperate to the extent of the law that makes for the finding of the truth in this matter “which we take pretty seriously”.
“D’banj has no such access nor colluded with government officials over any dubious transaction. The allegation is a nightmare that must be dissipated by asserting the truth of D’banj’s unimpeachable innocence.