MOHBAD and the Complexity of an Unsolved Murder

By Seunmanuel Faleye

The wanton passing of Afropop star, Mohbad Imole, has left many people puzzled. How could a vibrant 27-year-old suddenly die? It’s a question that has captured the attention of people worldwide, making Mohbad one of the most Googled names in 2023 so far.

You didn’t need to know Mohbad while he was alive to feel his travails, his story has touched people deeply. His life took a dark turn leading up to his mysterious death. Now, the #JusticeForMohbad has become a movement, and Mohbad has become a symbol of justice for the oppressed, similar to the #BlackLivesMatter movement after George Floyd’s murder.

Initially, it was said that Mohbad died from an earache, but that explanation didn’t sit well with Nigerians. Who dies from an earache, especially one that appeared just a day before? This raised suspicions, and people began to think there was more to his death than met the eye.

Particularly of interest are videos from the past now surfacing on the internet, where a distressed Mohbad was seen Live on Instagram telling Nigerians that if anything happens to him, or if he dies, Naira Marley and Marlian Music should be held responsible.

However, looking beyond the primary suspect in the case of the singer’s likely death, the circumstances surrounding his demise have left a significant gap that raises suspicions and warrants further investigation. This suggests that the prime suspects may have orchestrated the act to harm Imole indirectly, possibly through spiritual means (not unlikely), in order to avoid suspicion and any potential trace leading back to them.

His Childhood Friend
One of the first suspects in Mohbad’s death is his childhood friend, simply known as Prime Boy. There were rumors of a fight between them after the former’s performance in Ikorodu, and it’s even suggested that Prime Boy used ‘voodoo’ to harm Mohbad, leading to his health quickly deteriorating and eventual death.

Naira Marley
The primary figure under suspicion in the MohBad murder case is Naira Marley, the former record label boss of the late artist. MohBad’s troubles began when he decided to leave Marlian Music in October 2022.

Allegedly, MohBad was subjected to physical assault on the instructions of Naira Marley after he requested a new manager. At that time, he even shared video evidence of the injuries he had sustained through his X handle.

MohBad formally parted ways with the label through a letter dated October 25, 2022, signed by his lawyer, O.M. Falade. In this letter, MohBad made serious allegations of “violent physical attacks” and threats to his life by Marley. He also cited the non-fulfillment of the terms of the contract that was signed in 2019 when he initially joined the record label. Additionally, he accused the label of failing to pay him his agreed-upon royalties from his intellectual property and advances since 2019.

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In response to these allegations, Naira Marley resorted to constant intimidation tactics and effectively blacklisted MohBad from the music industry. For a considerable period, MohBad virtually disappeared from the industry, wrestling with low self-esteem and doubting his ability to entertain his fans. However, he began to rediscover his voice only recently, before he met his untimely death.

The Hospital
After Mohbad complained of ear pain, he was said to have been accompanied by his friends to a hospital. There, he received an injection shortly before collapsing and eventually passing away, as reported.

The police announced that they had taken the nurse who administered the injection in for questioning.

According to an eyewitness who provided a voice message detailing the events, Mohbad walked into the hospital unaided by his friends.

Despite his illness, Mohbad remained humble when the witness approached him, even posing for a photograph. Afterward, he retreated into a hospital ward, as evidenced by the witness noticing the whiteness of his eyes.

About 30 minutes later, the witness observed a sudden flurry of activity among the nurses and others in the room where Mohbad had been admitted. They were later informed by the nurses that Mohbad had been pronounced dead.

What struck the witness as odd was that Mohbad’s friends swiftly removed his “lifeless” body from the hospital, even though he was shirtless.

The eyewitness raised a significant question: why didn’t Mohbad’s companions leave him in the hospital longer, allowing medical professionals a chance to attempt to save him? Or at least amplifying his remains to the mortuary from there. This left many others puzzled as they hurriedly left the hospital. This further widens the suspect net, to include his alleged friends with him that day.

The Wife’s Factor
Turning our attention to Mohbad’s wife, Omowunmi, who is also the mother of his son, Liam, a concerning angle emerges. A leaked audio conversation surfaced on social media between Mohbad and his wife, Wunmi. In this audio, the late singer accused his wife of conspiring with her mother to harm him. He claimed that she forced him to wear clothes he no longer wanted while he was asleep.

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During the audio exchange, his wife remained silent, which seemed to imply some level of guilt. There were also allegations that she had significant control over Mohbad’s finances, influencing how he spent his money.

All of these factors have cast suspicion on her as one of the potential suspects in this complex case.

Sammy Larry
Just 24 hours after Mohbad’s tragic death, a disturbing video emerged online. It depicted a group of arms wielding men, led by show promoter Samson Balogun, known as Sam Larry, who is an associate of Naira Marley’s Marlian Music. In the video, they disrupted a music video shoot featuring Mohbad and Zlatan Ibile in Lagos.

As chaos unfolded on the set, with armed individuals advancing toward Mohbad, Zlatan Ibile stepped in to protect his fellow artiste.

In response to the news of Mohbad’s death, Sammy Larry posted a short video online, speaking in Yoruba. He stated that ghosts only appear in movies and advised his associates not to engage with anyone on social media regarding Mohbad’s death.

Additionally, a leaked audio, later identified as Sammy Larry’s voice, revealed him boasting to someone on the other end of the call. He claimed that all stations had been settled, suggesting that there was no case to answer.

The revelation of the Sammy Larry connection introduces another layer of complexity to the enigmatic circumstances surrounding Mohbad’s demise.

Shortly thereafter, a letter from Mohbad to the Nigeria Police Force emerged, shedding light on a harrowing incident from June 25, 2023. According to the letter, Mohbad had been attacked during a video shoot by Sam Larry and a group of 15 others, all armed. They not only caused damage exceeding N5 million in ruined equipment but also physically assaulted the singer, who narrowly escaped with injuries.

However, on September 14, 2023, the Lagos Annex of the Force Criminal Investigation Department within the Nigeria Police Force revealed its inability to act on Mohbad’s petition. This was due to his refusal to appear and provide evidence to substantiate his claims.

The possibility arises that Sammy Larry could have gone on to exert further threats and intimidation, potentially silencing Mohbad in the process.
Mohbad’s Family

The spotlight has also turned toward Mohbad’s family, particularly his father, Joseph Aloba. They have been caught on camera, seemingly expressing grievances, claiming that their son didn’t provide them with financial support. Instead, it’s alleged that he mostly sent money to his wife’s family.

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This has piqued curiosity about the hasty burial of the late singer and his father’s peculiar behavior during the process. Some have questioned why the remains of Mohbad was lowered to the earth in a hurry, and why his family could not be patient to enough get the deceased a befitting coffin, but instead bent his neck in an unusual manner while fitting his remains into the coffin. Observers have also picked up on his body language, which suggests that he may have been threatened or coerced into not implicating those potentially responsible for the tragic event. His demeanor and statements give the impression that he may possess more information than he is willing to divulge.

As the autopsy and police investigation into Mohbad’s death continue, the world watches with keen interest. It is crucial that anyone connected to his tragic demise, whether directly or indirectly, be held accountable. Justice must prevail to provide closure to this heartbreaking story and to honor the memory of a talented artist whose life was tragically cut short.

Many have wondered why the police have not declared Naira Marley and Sammy Larry as wanted individuals, at least as suspects, given their unresolved connection to the late singer. Their actions and behavior since Mohbad’s death raise suspicions, making them appear as potential suspects. Unfortunately, the slow response from the police provided the primary culprits with ample time to flee Nigeria and go into hiding. Naira Marley reportedly flew to Amsterdam, while Sammy Larry sought refuge in Kenya. This raises concerns about the handling of the case, as it appears there may be some laxity in the investigation.

One cannot help but question why Mohbad’s phone has not been admitted as evidence in the investigation. His chat records could potentially provide vital clues in unraveling the mystery behind his death. However, his phone is currently in someone else’s possession, likely his manager, who continues to post updates from the late singer’s official account.

It’s evident that whoever orchestrated Mohbad Imole’s untimely demise did so with cunning, ensuring that the trail would not lead back to them. There is a growing fear that the current police investigation might result in the complexity of an unsolved murder, akin to unfortunate cases in history.

Seunmanuel Faleye is a public affair, he writes from Lagos.

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