A nurse has been identified as the “principal suspect” in the mysterious death of a Nigerian Afrobeats star, which triggered days of protests by thousands demanding justice.
Investigations into the death of Ilerioluwa Aloba, better known as MohBad, in the commercial hub of Lagos have pointed to the nurse who treated the late singer before his death, the Lagos police chief, Idowu Owohunwa, told reporters on Friday.
The nurse was invited to treat Aloba for an unknown illness at his Lagos residence where she “administered three different injections which are believed to have occasioned the chain of reactions that directly resulted in the death of the singer”, Owohunwa said.
The nurse is in custody, but there has been no arraignment and no formal charges have been brought.
The police statement came after a closely watched investigation that prompted Aloba’s body to be exhumed for an autopsy as authorities searched for answers to what killed the 27-year-old on 12 September.
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Widely known as one of Nigeria’s fastest-rising young pop stars, Aloba’s death was confirmed at a Lagos hospital in unclear circumstances. Questions about the cause of his death prompted protests, rallies and grief across the west African nation.
His death also drew many to his songs, which were largely about his childhood and quest for a better life.
Outrage over the singer’s death was directed at Naira Marley, his former record label boss currently on trial in Nigeria for alleged internet fraud.
Marley was accused of mistreating Aloba, which he denied. He remains in police custody as one of the suspects in the case, police said.
They said their investigation found that doses of some drugs administered to Aloba by the nurse “immediately and directly triggered the reactions (including vomiting, goose bumps, convulsion) that eventually resulted in the singer’s death”.
The suspect is an assistant nurse who was not qualified to administer the medications, Owohunwa said. “She acknowledged that it was the injections that she administered on the deceased that triggered the reactions which eventually led to MohBad’s death.”