The bid to get Nigerian singer, Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, better known as D’banj, released from the detention facility of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over alleged N-Power fraud has just hit the rock as fresh discovery is made.
Reports reaching Naija News on Friday morning said the anti-graft agency has just discovered a list tagged D’banj list, containing names of 20,000 people ghostly infused into the N-Power Programme.
Recall that the ICPC detained D’banj on Tuesday after the latter willingly made himself available for interrogation over the case in which his name was mentioned.
There have been reports of irregularities in the programme launched by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government on June 8, 2016.
The N-Power scheme was targeted at curbing issues of youth unemployment and empowerment and also promoting social development.
However, there are reports of top government officials introducing thousands of ghost workers into the N-Power Programme and fraudulently diverting billions of naira into their pockets.
On D’banj’s alleged involvement in the irregularities, a source at the humanitarian ministry on Wednesday night reportedly confided in SaharaReporters that top government officials in President Buhari’s government have been using cronies to siphon funds under the social intervention programmes.
The source told the news platform, however, that ICPC would release D’banj on Wednesday night after failing to successfully link the musician to the fraudulent activities in the N-Power Programme.
However, D’banj was not released as reported but the source on Thursday again said investigators discovered a fresh list containing over 20,000 ghost names, tagged “D’banj’s list.”
The names were allegedly used to divert over N600 million monthly for over two years by government officials in connivance with the Nigerian musician, hence, the singer would be further detained.
Naija News learnt that D’banj has, however, refuted the allegation and denied any knowledge of the list.
“As I told you yesterday, D’banj was to be released last night but our (ICPC) Director of Operations wasn’t available. So, his lawyers were asked to come back today,” the source said.
He added: “But our investigators just discovered another 20,000 N-Power lists, so he (D’banj) will remain in detention.
“Today when his lawyers arrived for his release, they were told about this fresh list containing 20,000 names. This list was being used to divert N600 million monthly from Nigeria in the last two years by Buhari government officials. The list containing 20,000 names has been bleeding Nigeria N600 million monthly over the last two years.
“It’s named the D-banj’s list. He actually denied the list when he was interrogated by our officials. That’s the reason he wasn’t released as planned.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development affirmed that D’banj was never a brand ambassador of the N-Power Programme.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday night, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, said it had reported large-scale financial irregularities in the N-Power Programme to the ICPC but the singer wasn’t found guilty.
He urged the public to come forward with information on any irregularities noticed in the implementation of the National Social Investment Programme.
He said given its findings, the ICPC may invite many people it engaged for questioning.