Nigerian police have detained Afrobeats star Naira Marley for questioning over the death of a fellow singer.
MohBad’s mysterious death led to a huge outpouring of grief among his fans, who demanded a thorough investigation.
Outrage was directed at Marley, with whom he had feuded after he split from the musician’s label, Marlian Records.
Marley, who previously denied involvement in MohBad’s death, said he had returned from abroad to assist with the investigation.
“It’s important I do my part for Imole,” Marley said, referring to another name by which MohBad was known.
“I’ll be meeting with the police with hopes for the truth to be uncovered and for justice to prevail,” he added on X on Tuesday.
MohBad, 27, died at a hospital in the Nigerian city of Lagos last month but the cause of his death is unclear.
Last week, police said they had taken music promoter Sam Larry into their custody, and he was assisting their investigations. No further details were given.
MohBad, whose real name was Ilerioluwa Aloba, was hurriedly buried by his family a day after his death, triggering concerns among his fans.
MohBad’s father Joseph Aloba told local media that the hasty burial was guided by the culture of the family’s Yoruba ethnic group.
He added that according to Yoruba custom, a deceased person with living parents has to be buried quickly.
Police have exhumed MohBad’s body for an autopsy, but the results have not yet been released. A coroner’s inquest is due to resume on 13 October.
Lagos state police spokesman Benjamin Hundeyin on Tuesday said that Marley had been taken into custody “for interrogation and other investigation activities”.
Marley is a highly popular Afrobeats star in Nigeria. Last year, Apple Music described him as “an unmissable fixture in Nigerian pop music”.
But he is also a controversial figure who has had previous brushes with the law. In 2020, he reached an out-of-court settlement with a man who accused him and his associates of assaulting him and stealing his car. Marley denied the charges.
Marley and MohBad had a bitter fallout last year after MohBad left Marley’s Marlian Records music label, where he had been signed for three years.
Since his death, several videos have surfaced, in which MohBad complained that people from the label had harassed and cheated him out of his royalties.
Marley described the claims as “lies” and said that he did not “have a hand in the death of MohBad, either directly or indirectly”.
A concert to pay tribute to MohBad was held in a park on Lagos’s Victoria Island two weeks ago, after which fans marched towards Lekki toll gate to continue their vigil.
Many of the mourners wore white T-shirts and held candles or their mobile phone torches aloft as they danced to the songs of the late artist, loved for his streetwise, sometimes lewd, lyrics and distinctive baritone voice.
The hashtag #justiceformohbad has been trending on social media. Protests have been held in cities across southern Nigeria, with his fans wanting to know how he died – prompting the Lagos state governor to open an inquiry involving the country’s secret police.
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