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D’banj Cleared Of Rape, Fraud Allegations As Court Adjourns Naira Marley’s Trial To March

Nigerian singer, Dapo Oyebanjo popularly known as D’banj, has been cleared of rape and fraud allegations by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), respectively.

The police and the anti-graft agency gave the ‘Fall-In-Love’ crooner a clean slate in separate clearance reports upon completion of investigations with incontrovertible outcomes on the innocence of the Kokomaster crooner.

In an affidavit deposed by Toheeb Lawal of Abuja-based law firm, Law Corridor, before District Court of Abuja, wherein the reports of the Nigeria Police Investigation and Clearance from the anti-corruption agency were exhibited and marked exhibit A and B, the legal practitioner averred that the police and ICPC cleared the singer of rape and fraud allegations.

In 2020, the singer was accused of rape and the Inspector General of Police ordered an investigation into the allegation.

In a report dated November 14, 2023, with case number CR:3000/X/FHQ/ABJ/SEB/T.1/VOL 18/284, and signed by ACP YY Abubakar of the Special Enquiry Bureau at the Force Criminal Investigations Department at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, the police said the matter was investigated but there was no evidence to substantiate the claim.

The allegation was investigated and the report partly read. “The complainant, witnesses and suspects made their statement.

“Investigation was expanded across board but there was no prima-facie evidence, adduced facts or corroborative evidence to establish the offence of rape and sexual assault against the singer.”

Also, sometime in late 2022, D’banj was wrongly accused of diversion of funds associated with the N-Power Programme of the Federal Government.

However, in a separate outcome after its investigation, the ICPC said that D’banj was not guilty of any fraud allegation.

In response to an inquiry, the Commission cleared D’banj of any infraction on the matter.

The clarification was dated November 29, 2023, with document number ICPC/OPS/SDD/SPT.LG/31/23.

“The commission investigated issues of fraud in the administration of the N-POWER Scheme where Mr Daniel Oladapo Oyebanjo’s name came up. However, there was no prima facie case of fraud against him.

“Kindly be advised that Mr Daniel Oladapo Oyebanjo is not under investigation with the Commission for any fraud-related offence”, the statement partly read.

The lawyer, in his deposition filed before the Chief District Court of the Federal Capital Territory at Wuse Zone 2, Abuja, also averred that the singer was never a government official and never had any access to government funds and that the N-power campaign he supported was free and was never paid a penny by anyone or the government.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, has adjourned  until March 6 and 7, 2024, the continuation of trial of Nigerian singer, Azeez Fashola (a.k.a Naira Marley) over alleged internet fraud.

Naira Marley is standing trial  on 11-count charges bordering on conspiracy and credit card fraud brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

A statement issued  via X on Friday, the anti-graft agency disclosed that one of the credit card details found on a device belonging to the singer had been flagged by Visa, a card payment platform.

“The 10th prosecution witness (PW10) on Thursday, November 30, told Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court Ikoyi, Lagos how Visa, a card payment platform, flagged one of the credit card details found on a device belonging to the singer, due to fraudulent transactions”, the statement said.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Bilikisu Buhari, an investigator with the EFCC, Dein Whyte (PW10), said: “As part of the findings from the investigation, forensic analysis revealed that malicious programmes that are being used to illegally obtain credit card information, which can be used for card non-present transactions, were found on the device that was recovered from the defendant upon his arrest.”

Also revealed were malicious tools used to disguise the active location of an internet user when his or her devices are connected to the internet.

Whyte also disclosed that “tools that are used to verify the validity, active state and accuracy of credit card credentials as well as the region of the issuer of that card were discovered on the defendant’s device. The analysis further revealed the website that had been accessed on the computer of the defendant through his browser history. The websites include sites where credit card information are illegally traded.”

He explained further that the phone and the laptop recovered from the defendant were both registered with his credentials, name and email address.

When asked by the prosecution counsel to state the result of his findings on the credit card details on the defendant’s device, Whyte responded, “With respect to the card details recovered from the device of the defendant, investigations revealed that he also exchanged those details with other persons.

“He further stated that one of the cards was reported to have been fraudulently used for a transaction by Visa,” the statement quoted Whyte as saying.

According to him, the card details that were in possession of the defendant’s device neither belonged to him nor were issued to him by any financial institution.

The statement added that “Under cross-examination by the defendant’s counsel, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, Whyte informed the court that a letter of investigation was written to Visa and that it confirmed that the card had been flagged for fraudulent transactions.

He, however, said that Visa didn’t link the credit card fraud to the defendant’s device “because the investigation was on the card and not on the device being used for the fraud.” 

He also stressed that Visa is a payment platform and not a telecommunication company.

DIPLOMATIC DIARY

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