Court grants Mohbad’s family permission to conduct a second autopsy

Justice is still being sought ten months after the late singer Ilerioluwa Aloba, known as Mohbad, died. Mohbad, 27, died on 12 September 2023 under controversial circumstances.

Almost a year after his death, there appear to be conflicting reports over the cause of his death.

However, a recent development seems to have brought hope to the family, and his fans are seeking answers.

A court has finally granted his family permission to conduct a second autopsy. This decision comes after the family expressed dissatisfaction with the initial autopsy results, which were deemed inconclusive.

After several clamors for justice to ascertain the cause of his death, his body was exhumed on 21 September 2023 for an autopsy by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).

The autopsy, which commenced in September 2023, released on 7 June, failed to determine the cause of death.

The inconclusiveness of the autopsy results was attributed to body decomposition and potential reactions to medications he received before his death.

The Aloba family rejected the results and, on 16 June, urged the Lagos State Government to confirm the autopsy’s authenticity because of the public’s doubts and conflicting reports.

Mohbad’s family appealed to the coroner’s inquest’s presiding magistrate to ensure that an independent toxicology report is submitted to the court before the final report is submitted to the authorities.

The coroner’s inquest, whose role is to determine the identity of the deceased, the time, cause, and manner of death, has so far revealed that the first autopsy provided no conclusive cause of death.

During a Wednesday hearing at a magistrate court in Ikorodu, Mohad’s family and their legal representatives were granted permission for a second autopsy,

With PREMIUM TIMES in attendance, at a subsequent press conference, the family and their legal team confirmed they received the court’s authorization to proceed with the additional autopsy.

The Aloba family has been vocal about their dissatisfaction with the initial findings of the autopsy and has demanded an independent post-mortem and toxicology test.

The first autopsy, conducted with the state government’s involvement, did not yield affirmative results.

They questioned the authenticity of the toxicology test, allegedly conducted in the United States, which the US lab later denied.

Now, the family has been granted permission to conduct a private independent autopsy.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Mohbad’s father, Joseph Aloba, expressed gratitude for the court’s decision to allow for a second autopsy.

“I appreciate the responses all along to the death of Mohbad. We appreciate the judiciary for this decision. There is a reason for the government to instruct that we exhume Mohbad for them to know the cause of his death.”

At the court hearing, the singer’s father expressed shock at seeing his daughter-in-law Wunmi and his estranged wife (Mohnad’s mum).

He said: “It was sad seeing the mother and the wife because we haven’t been communicating for some days; it was like a shock.”

Second autopsy concerns
Asked when the results of this second autopsy would be ready, Grace Shorinde, one of the Aloba family representatives, responded, “If we consider today’s coroner inquest, we are already time-bound”.

“Whatever we do, we must have the results before 7 August. After concluding the coroner’s inquest, the legal team approached Joseph Aloba, who emphasized the urgency of acting on the received information.

“Those who were advocating for the boy’s burial now understand that Mohbad cannot be buried until the cause of death is determined, which must happen between now and 7 August,” she affirmed.

Human rights intervention
At the press conference, Rotimi Adigun from the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice stated that in most cases like this, his organization has internal plans for addressing the matter and prefers not to announce their actions publicly.

“We know justice delayed is justice denied. We are unhappy with how the case is going, but here to unite and not relent,” he said.

“We have our plan and know what to do concerning the case. We have pledged our support and are willing to assist in the case. We are fully in the case but cannot disclose our plan.”

Legal view
David Wonuola of TMK Music Worldwide highlighted the significance of the court’s decision to allow the application to record witnesses.

Mr Wonuola, a lawyer, explained, “The autopsy report is one of the variables to assist the court, along with other factors. Thankfully, today, the court allowed the application to record witnesses. This was prompted by the applications brought forward today.

“The current state of the report influenced that application because, once the report is finalized and confirmed, the court will focus on the evidence and testimonies of the respondents and witnesses presented.

“At this time, recording witness statements to elicit facts is important. The court will base its proceedings on the evidence or witness statements before it, which will assist in the path of justice.”

Mohbad’s family and their legal team remain hopeful that the second autopsy and ongoing investigations will bring clarity to the circumstances surrounding his death.