Update on the arrest of D'Banj over Npower Fraud - the True Story

It was a trending news yesterday that a popular Nigerian Popstar, DBanj aka De Koko Master was arrested and detained by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over alleged diversion of Npower Fund.

Many Npower beneficiaries especially the Batch C2 Npower beneficiaries have insinuated that it may be the cause of the continuous delay in the payment of the Batch C2 Stipends.

This update is to let you know how things happened, what brought the popular musician into the equation, and the role of the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry on the issue.

During the launch of the Batch C Npower Programme in 2021, DBanj was honoured as an Ambassador of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) by the Ministry. This is how DBanj got connected to Npower in the first place.

The allegation which led to his arrest, upon investigation, is that a Bank Account linked to DBanj was used to fraudulently divert over N100 million through the creation of "ghost" beneficiaries, while all Sipends paid were channelled to the said account.

The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development said that such sharp practices emanated from some personnels of the Payment Service Provider (PSP) involved in the payment processes of beneficiaries.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, in a press Statement on Tuesday noted that immediately such sharp practices were noticed by the Ministry, it invited the ICPC for thorough investigation.

"We are aware that certain persons have consequently been invited for interrogation as part of the ongoing investigations," Sani-Gwarzo stated.

Read the Full Press Statement below:



1. The N-Power Programme is a very successful component of the National Social Investment Programmme put in place by the Federal Government. It has continued to deliver desired impact through the on-boarding 1.5million Unemployed Nigerian youth (mostly graduates), providing capacity building, targeted tenured employment and structured off-boarding unto various career paths; thereby serving as a catalyst conveyor system for unemployed/under-employed Nigerian youth to successful career paths and a stimulus for the Nigerian Economy.

2. The Ministry’s attention has been brought to recent publications regarding ongoing investigations in relation to fraud allegations in the Programme. We wish to here state as follows;

 3. The Ministry has deployed a well-rounded mechanism for selection of eligible beneficiaries from across the country and this has been in place since the inception of the program. Working with our Service Provider, Program Beneficiaries are onboarded, trained and deployed to pre-selected Places of Primary Assignment.

4. When it came to our notice that there may have been sharp practices by some personnel of the Payment Service Provider (PSP) involved in the payment processes of beneficiaries, the matter was immediately referred to ICPC for thorough investigation.We are aware that certain persons have consequently been invited for interrogation as part of the ongoing investigations.

5. In the meantime, we have carried out thorough reinforcement of our systems to eliminate all anomalies and prevent similar occurrences in the future. To this end we are in close collaboration with ICPC to support the successful determination of the investigation.

6. The public may wish to note that in a bid to ensure transparency and accountability in the implementation of N-Power and other National Social Investment Programmes, namely the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme(NHGSFP), Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP)and the Conditional Cash Transfer(CCT), the Ministry has over time involved other government MDA’s, Security Agencies and Civil Society Organizations in monitoring and compliance checks across the 36 states of the country and the FCT.

7. We want to assure all N-POWER beneficiaries of Federal Government’s continued commitment to the programme and the subsequent exit/off-boarding channels activated.

8. All program beneficiaries should therefore continue to apply themselves to their utmost at their Places of Primary Assignment. All monthly stipends will continue to be paid in line with program expectations.

9. We call on members of the public to come forward with information on any irregularities noticed in the implementation of the National Social Investment programmne through the following channels;

Email: npowersupport@nsip.gov.ng, npowerinfo@nsip.gov.ng

Phone: 0700 CALL NSIP, 070022556747 or 07030859183- WhatsApp 

Dr. Nasir Sani–Gwarzo mni, NPOM

Permanent Secretary

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