By Kunle Awosiyan
The sudden rise of the Nigeria Police to unravel the mystery behind the death of a popular singer, Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, aka, Mohbad looks more like a damage control instead of a real investigation.
Not until he died and many videos of the probable circumstances leading to his death hit the social media space, the police had failed to treat the letter the singer sent to them over the threat by a killer gang to take his life.
Many of the evidences that the police will work with in their probe to get Mohbad’s killers are now the videos and letters released by the singer himself. It is a case of the dead fighting back from his grave due to the negligence of the police.
Mohbad, a former carpentry apprentice from a broken home suddenly became more popular after his death with his music taking three spots on Billboard’s top 10 trending songs for the first time.
Mohbad’s songs took the number two, five and eight spots on the Billboard barely a week that the singer gave up the ghost.
Before his death, he wrote to the police over a threat to his life. In a letter dated June 27, 2023 to the police, the singer informed the law enforcement agent about the threat to his life.
Tagging it ‘They are after my life’ the late singer addressed the letter to to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Department Annex, Lagos, petitioned the force over “threat to life, malicious damage of properties valued at the sum of N5 million, assault, occasional harm, oppression, and conduct likely to cause breach of peace against one Sam Larry, Elele, Obele, and others.
He stated that he was attacked at a video shoot on June 25, 2023, by men who claimed that they worked for one Oba Elegushi.
The ‘Peace’ crooner who also dubbed himself as Imole said that even after he narrowly escaped on the said date, the hoodlums were still threatening to kill him.
According to the petition: “On 25 June 2023, while having a video shoot with another artist, Zlatan Ibile. The above-mentioned persons, numbering about fifteen, led by Sam Larry Elegushi, invaded the premises with dangerous arms such as guns, cutlasses, etc, where he was shooting a video and scattered the whole process, damaged the equipment he was using for the shooting, valued at about N5 million, and started threatening his life. In the process, they became violent and assaulted him.
The petition to the police showed that Mohbad was seriously injured but escaped being killed.
Attached with the petition were pictures, the receipt of the total amount he paid for the shooting, which the gangs destroyed. He paid non-refundable N8 million for the shooting, which was never allowed to hold by the gangs.
However, during the assault, the hoodlums boasted that they worked for Oba Elegushi and that they had been asked to deal with the singer for reasons best known to them.
The late singer wrote in the petition “Sir, I call on your good office to save my life from the above-mentioned persons and bring them to book. Thank you for your timely intervention.”
Despite the letter, the police failed to act until the singer eventually died fortnight ago, buried while his fans stormed the streets to demand justice.
In one of videos released after he had passed away, the singer had alleged the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency of using its operatives to serve him with a poisoned table water while in their custody.
He said he was arrested alongside some of his colleagues but was the only one given the water to drink while at the NDLEA custody.
Reacting to this, the NDLEA media executive, Mr. Femi Babafemi denied the allegation, saying that at no time did the agency arrest any person called Ilerioluwa Aloba or Mohbad as he called on members of the public to disregard the viral video.
However, the police officially launched investigation into Mohbad’s death a day after his demise.
The Lagos State Police Command inaugurated a 13-man special investigation team to look into the death of Mohbad on September 18, 2023, six days after the body of the singer had been horridly buried.
The Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu also integrated the Department of State Security into the probe.
But when asked why he hurriedly buried the body of his son, Mohbad’s father, Joseph Aloba attributed it to the tradition in Yoruba land; stating that it is sorrowful to keep the body of a young child around while his parents are still alive.
As he put it “Everybody has what they are facing. In Yoruba land, his body is not the type you keep at home because he was young and his parents are alive. If it were to be an elderly person, we would have kept the body in the mortuary for as long as we wanted. In his case, the day we see evil is the day it goes away. It was at that midnight that I made the decision. I had him buried on that land because that is the only property that I know of and we had an agreement that I’d use the land to build a church.”
The father also spoke on how he was rushed to the hospital following a phone call about the condition of his son on the day he gave up the ghost.
The bereaved father narrated that on the day his son died, he got a call from his associates asking him to meet them at the hospital.
According to the father, he was at the bus stop when he got another call telling him that he should return home. However, he suspected something had happened, hence, insisted on seeing his son.
On getting to his son’s house, he found his lifeless body with an injury on his hand and not his neck as widely claimed.
When he asked the singer’s friends about how his late son got the injury, he was told that the injury was from a playful fight he had with his friend after which his hand got swollen.
Mohbad’s father added that his friends informed him that the singer vomited after being given an injection by an auxiliary nurse.
Mr Aloba alleged that the nurse who treated his son looked more like a quack and might be the one who killed Mohmad.
“She might have been unintentionally responsible for my son’s death,” he said in another video.
Of course, the allegations to the death of Mohbad have become complex that the police had to exhume the body on Thursday for autopsy as the world awaits the final report of the coroner inquest.
Speaking, the state Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa emphasised that the perpetrators and anyone linked to Mohbad’s death would be arrested and brought to book under the full wrath of the law. He reminded the general public that the police command has access to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) as well as their resources.
He said, “Wherever you are in this world do not forget, we have unique access to INTERPOL. We do not want to mention specific names but everybody linked to the death of Mohbad will be identified and they will be brought to establish their level of involvement.”
Numerous times, he stressed that the police did not want to mention the names of anyone involved in the investigation yet, but wanted the public to seek solace in the fact that they were on the case.
He added, “We don’t want to isolate specific characters, all facts including videos and other things that have been mentioned. I don’t want to reduce the investigation to a specific name at this moment. Let’s proceed with the investigation and as we have it, to identify individuals, we could pick on whoever within the constraints of the law and they would be required to come and clarify.”
Interestingly, the police investigation is coming after the singer had passed away not when he was alive with his petition lying fallow at the police station.
Again the probe came after the public outcry for the police to take up the case of the singer’s sudden death. This is especially because of the different videos making rounds on social media of Mohbad being harassed and assaulted by members of his former record label Marlian Music.
Before Mohbad’s passing, he once posted a video name-dropping his former boss Naira Marley and his counterpart Sammy Larry, declaring that if he ever died they were responsible. The singer also allegedly drafted a request to the police requesting protection from them. However, after his death, they both declared that they did not harm the singer and that he ‘was like a brother’ to them.
In the last four days, his fans had organised numerous candlelight processions to pay their last respect and of course demand for justice.