Inaugural sitting of the Coroner inquiring into the cause of death of 27-year-old musician, IleriOluwa Oladimeji Aloba, also known as Mohbad, was held yesterday at the Candide Johnson Courthouse, Ikorodu, Lagos.
However, journalists were barred from covering the proceedings, as court officials said that the order was from the Chief Registrar, Tajideed Elias.
It was also gathered that this move was taken as a crowd control measure.
After the hearing, the deceased’s family counsel, Funmi Falana, told journalists that the Magistrate, Adetayo Shotobi discussed the modalities of the inquest with all counsel, including the format that witnesses will take to testify.
She added that the legal team will present their witnesses at the next hearing fixed for October 13.
“The essence of the coroner is to inquire as to the cause of death. It is an inquisitorial sitting, so what we had today was to decide on the modalities as to how and when and regarding the witnesses that will testify.”
Other interested parties that attended the sitting include the Lagos State Ministry of Justice and a record label, TNKAY Music.
The inquest is pursuant to the extant provisions of sections 14&15 of the Coroner’s System Law of Lagos State, cap C15, laws of Lagos State 2015.
This is in response to a letter written by the chambers of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana to the office of the Chief Coroner over the controversial death.
Mohbad died on Tuesday, September 12 in a manner that led to great outcry and several protests, amidst calls by many for a thorough investigation into the musician’s sudden demise.
Before his death, he had made a series of allegations of being bullied and harassed by his former manager, Naira Marley who owns the record label Marlian Music.
He was buried the next day. A few days later, the police authorities exhumed the singer’s body from his graveside in Ikorodu
While an autopsy has since been carried out, the spokesperson of the Lagos State Police Command, Benjamin Hundeyin, said the result is being awaited.
Falana had requested a coroner’s inquest into the circumstances surrounding the passing away of the musician.
In a formal letter addressed to the Chief Coroner of the High Court of Lagos State in Ikeja, Falana expressed deep concern about what he referred to as a “very tragic death.”
He cited the Lagos State Coroner’s Law of 2007, specifically Section 15, which stipulates that an inquest should be conducted when a coroner becomes aware of a death within their district that results from violent, unnatural, or suspicious circumstances.
In the letter, dated September 18, 2023, signed and shared by Folakemi Falana via Instagram on behalf of the law firm, Falana & Associates, the urgent need for an investigation into Mohbad’s death within Lagos State was emphasised.
The letter further read, “We hereby request Your Lordship to conduct an inquest into the circumstances surrounding the tragic death in Lagos State, and we are confident that Your Lordship will accede to our request with utmost urgency.”