Nigerian police have detained Afrobeats star and record label boss Naira Marley for questioning in relation to the death of fast-rising singer MohBad. MohBad, aged 27, passed away last month under unexplained circumstances, leading to widespread grief among his fans and causing ripples in the Afrobeats music genre. Prior to his death, MohBad had filed a petition alleging assault and threats to his life by his former boss Marley, with whom he had been feuding after leaving Marlian Records.
Lagos state police announced on Tuesday that Marley was taken into custody to assist with the investigation into MohBad’s death. Marley, who has denied any involvement in the incident, expressed his willingness to cooperate with the police on Twitter, stating his hope for the truth to be uncovered and justice to prevail.
MohBad died in a Lagos hospital after being admitted with an ear infection. His body was subsequently exhumed for an autopsy, the results of which are pending. A coroner’s inquest is scheduled to resume on October 13.
Since MohBad’s death, fans have organized protests in several Nigerian cities, demanding a thorough investigation. The hashtag #JusticeforMohBad has gained traction on social media, and tributes have poured in from international artists such as Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, and Meek Mill.
MohBad had been signed to Marlian Music, the label founded by Naira Marley, in 2019 but terminated his contract last year. Videos have emerged posthumously in which MohBad accused individuals from his former label of harassment and royalty theft. Marley has refuted these claims, asserting that he had no involvement in MohBad’s death.
The Afrobeats genre has gained popularity both in West Africa and globally, with Nigerian artists like Burna Boy, Davido, Wizkid, and Rema achieving significant success. However, industry insiders have highlighted the dark side of the industry, including exploitative recording contracts and unregulated practices.
The case involving MohBad’s death has become a test for Nigerian police, particularly among the younger generation, following the controversial handling of the EndSars protests against police abuses three years ago. The Lagos state commissioner of police has pledged to use this investigation to change the negative perception of law enforcement agencies.