Mohbad: Reps seek for Justice, monitoring of ongoing investigation
…ask NCC to protect Mohbad’s songs, secure sons legacy
By Gift ChapiOdekina
The House of Representatives have called for the monitoring of the ongoing investigation of Mohbad’s death, particularly the allegations of harassment and unpaid royalties.
The House also urged the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) to put measures in place immediately 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 the committee on Justice and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.
The resolutions followed a motion of urgent national importance moved by Hon Babajimi Benson during plenary in Abuja.
Moving the motion, Benson noted that the Nigerian music industry mourns the loss of the talented artist Ilerioluwa Olademeji Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad, who tragically passed away under mysterious circumstances on September 12, 2023, and has continued to make headlines and dominate discussions across and beyond the nation.
He also noted that the heartfelt protests, a procession of youth chanting his name, and the call for an investigation as they marched to a tribute concert, with numerous musicians in attendance.
“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 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.
The lawmaker also stated that Mohbad’s case is not an isolated incident. He said Many artists in Nigeria find themselves ensnared in unfavorable contractual agreements, limiting their creative freedom and financial growth. This situation he said can lead to disputes and, at times, even violence.
He further explained that the Nigerian music industry lacks substantial institutional funding, pushing many artists into unscrupulous contracts with record labels.
“Addressing this issue is vital for the industry’s growth and sustainability. Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) functions encompass copyright registration, law enforcement, education, royalty management, international collaboration, legal advocacy, and policy development, hence should be protecting copyright and promoting artists’ interests in Nigeria.
“Disturbed that most of the proceeds of the late artist are still going to the Marlian Music Group, and there have been no moves from any agency to protect the Estate of the late singer who is currently the 46th best-selling digital artiste in the world.
To this end, the house therefore observed one minute of silence in honor of Mohbad.
The House also called for the collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including record labels, artists, legal experts, and industry associations, to develop and implement industry-wide guidelines that ensure fair treatment, transparent contractual agreements, and proper compensation for artists, reviewing existing copyright and contract laws in Nigeria, identifying gaps or areas in need of reform.