Nigerian celebrities are unarguably one of the most successful amongst their peers across the globe, due to the cult-like followership of their fans, who over the years, have proven that they get on like a house on fire with their star-crush.
This has translated to financial gains for these superstars, who also spare no effort to build their social media pages, where they are believed to make a huge sum of money from engagements with these followers.
They, among other individuals, are also expected to serve as role models, especially to the teeming youths that follow them and their beliefs.
However, some of these Nigerian household names have been indicted for fraud both home and abroad.
While some of them even served jail terms, others are still in court for the case.
We’ll take a rundown of five Nigerian celebrities that fall in this category:
First on the list is Dammy Krane, who was arrested in June 2017 by the Miami-Dade Police for credit card forgery and grand theft.
The singer, whose real name is Oyindamola Emmanuel Johnson-Hunga, was arrested at Opa-locka Executive Airport after he used a bogus card to book a private jet flight to Washington, D.C.
Agents from the mobile-phone booking app, TapJets reported the case to the police. The jet company told Miami-Dade Police that Krane and a partner, Chukwuebuka Ilochonwu, booked a $10,943 trip on a jet with fake cards.
When the authorities searched the singer after he was apprehended, they found seven false credit cards in his wallet.
He was, however, released from jail after meeting his bail conditions, set at $7,500.
Some Weeks after Dammy Krane’s arrest, Nollywood actress, Lola Margaret Oladipupo was also arrested in the United States for fraud.
Reports revealed that her arrest was linked to money laundering.
A huge sum of money was reportedly wired into her account and the collection method failed, which made the police in Atlanta, Georgia, pick the actress up for grilling.
The actress was placed in detention for two weeks for money laundering.
When she returned to Nigeria, she alleged that a close friend betrayed her in the business which led to her arrest.
Thirdly, a Nigerian rapper, Babalola Falemi, popularly known as Sinzu was incarcerated at Ada County Jail, United States, for credit card fraud in 2016.
He was jailed for grand theft fraud and stealing $15,388.
Law enforcement agents caught up with him as he wanted to board a flight at Boise Airport in Idaho.
A video had circulated online in 2014, which showed him fraudulently withdraw $300 from an ATM at a supermarket. He came out to deny it, and blamed the emergence of the video and the entire saga on his erstwhile friend, Godwin.
The rapper, who was first known as Saucekid, however, regained his freedom 2 years after his incarceration.
After his release, he tweeted, “Did the crime, did the time, the past don’t matter, mind over matter, on to other matter”.
Nigerian singers, Afeez Fashola (aka Naira Marley) and Omoniyi Temidayo Raphael (aka Zlatan) were arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in May 2019.
They were arrested in connection with an alleged case of internet fraud and money laundering.
The musicians were arrested alongside Tiamiu Abdulrahman Kayode, Adewunmi Adeyanju Moses and Abubakar Musa.
Their arrest followed an early morning raid, at 9, Gbangbola Street, Ikate, Lekki, Lagos.
Naira Marley is controversial for repeatedly praising internet fraudsters, popularly called Yahoo boys, in his songs and on social media.
The “Am I a Yahoo boy” crooner was released in June 2019, 14 days after he was granted bail on the conditions that he must provide Two Million Naira bond and two sureties, one with landed property and the other, a Civil Servant, not lower than a level 10 officer.
The most recent arrest of a Nigerian singer is that of a former member of Mo’Hit records, Oladipo Oyebanjo, aka D’Banj.
D’banj was arrested on Tuesday, December 6, over allegations of fraud associated with the N-Power programme.
The spokesperson for the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Azuka Ogugua, said several invitations to the singer to appear before a team of investigators were ignored.
She said Dbanj turned himself in and was taken into custody at the ICPC headquarters where he is assisting investigators to unravel the circumstances of the fraud allegations by the petitioners.
Ogugua noted that about 10 persons had been invited by the ICPC over the last few months in connection with the fraud and granted administrative bail.