September 27, 2023

Mohbad: Coroner’s inquest begins Friday

Mohbad: Witnesses to appear before Lagos Coroner’s inquest October 13

•Reps seek monitoring of on-going investigation; Ask NCC to protect artiste’s songs, secure son’s legacy

•He wouldn’t have died if he ran to us —OPC

By Clifford Ndujihe, Henry Ojelu & Gift ChapiOdekina 

Chief Coroner of the High Court of Lagos, Justice Mojisola Dada, yesterday, set up an inquest to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of music star, IleriOluwa Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad.

The setting up of the inquest was sequel to a demand by human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, for the Coroner to conduct a thorough investigation on Mohbad’s tragic death.

In a formal letter dated September 18, Falana cited the Lagos State Coroner’s Law of 2007, specifically Section 15, which stipulates that an inquest should be conducted when a Coroner becomes aware of a death within their district that results from violent, unnatural, or suspicious circumstances.

In response to the request, the Chief Coroner yesterday notified Falana that a preliminary inquiry into the death of Mohbad will commence on Friday September 29, at Magistrate Court 3, Candide-Johnson Courthouse, Ita-Elewa, Ikorodu.

The letter read: “I have the directives of the Chief Coroner Lagos State, Hon. Justice M.A Dada, to notify your good office of his Lordship’s order to convoke an inquest into the death of the above named Ilerioluwa Oladimeji aka “Mohbad”, in view of the letter from your office to the Chief Coroner over the tragic death which you stated occurred in lkorodu Lagos State, in the circumstances which requires the convocation of an inquest pursuant to the extant provisions of Ss. 14 & 15 of the Coroner’s system law of Lagos State, Cap C15, Laws of Lagos State 2015.

“Your office is hereby notified that preliminary enquiries into the death of late Ilerioluwa Oladimeji by the undersigned coroner will commence on September 29, 2023 at Magistrate Court 3, Candide-Johnson Courthouse, Ita-Elewa, Ikorodu. “

Reps seek monitoring of ongoing investigation

Also, the House of Representatives, yesterday, called for the monitoring of the ongoing investigation of the death of the Nigerian singer, particularly the allegations of harassment and unpaid royalties.

The House tasked the Nigeria Copyright Commission, NCC, to protect the rights of Mohbad’s songs and lyrics, addressing copyright infringements and ensuring the proper management of his musical assets while securing his son’s benefits from his musical legacy.

The House further mandated its Committee on Justice and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

The resolutions followed a motion of urgent national importance moved by Mr Babajimi Benson during plenary in Abuja.

Moving the motion, Mr Benson said: “It is evident that Mohbad’s fans are struggling to come to terms with his untimely demise. Mohbad, also known as Imole, meaning ‘light’ in Yoruba, was an artist who sang of peace and light.

“Note that Mohbad left his record label, Marlian Records, owned by Azeez Fashola (Naira Marley), in 2022, citing various grievances, including unpaid royalties. This issue is indicative of a broader problem in which artists encounter challenges asserting their rights.

“Also be aware that a disturbing industry practice has come to the fore. Evidence of mistreatment highlights the struggles of young artists who, in their quest for success, become entangled in parasitic contracts and face bullying when they seek to exit these agreements.”

To this end, the house observed a minute of silence in honour of Mohbad.

Mohbad wouldn’t have died if he ran to us —OPC

Meanwhile, the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, yesterday, decried the death of Mohbad, saying if he had opened up to the group about his travails, he would have been kept safe from his attackers.

The OPC, in a statement by its President, Mr Wasiu Afolabi, described the death of the musician as an unquantifiable yet avoidable tragedy.

The statement reads: “OPC sees the death of this promising, hardworking and talented young musician as a personal loss because he was a true Yoruba Ambassador, whose songs and craftsmanship promoted the Yoruba language and people.

“However, we believe he, his parents and management ought to have involved the OPC when the disagreement between Mohbad and other associates escalated to the point of intimidation, assault and haunting.

“OPC has successfully mediated in such cases in the past and we have brought peace and harmony to such feuding parties to the satisfaction of all and sundry.

“And I dare say that Mohbad would have lived a better quality of life, and would most likely be alive today if he and his people had brought his troubles to OPC.”