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No, Nigerian singer Naira Marley not arrested over the death of artist Mohbad

IN SHORT: Posts circulating on Facebook claim that Naira Marley and Sam Larry have been arrested over the death of Mohbad. But this is false information.

A video circulating on Facebook purporting to show that Nigeria’s Department of State Services arresting the singer Naira Marley and socialite Samson Balogun, popularly known as Sam Larry.

This claim follows controversial rumours on social media after the sudden death on 12 September 2023 of Nigerian singer Aloba Promise, better known as Mohbad.

Mohbad, 27, was signed to Marlian Records, owned by Marley, himself one of the country’s biggest stars, in 2019.

Mohbad left the label in 2022. He said in more than one Instagram live session that Marley should be held responsible for his death if anything ever happened to him. Marley has called for an exhaustive investigation into the circumstances of the death.

The death also shone a light on how musicians in the country are treated by labels including claims of bullying.

The video has been viewed 2.4 million times and “liked” 94,000 times at time of publication. It was also shared here, here, here and here

Has Marley been arrested and is it linked to Mohbad’s death?


Police deny reports of arrest

Mohbad was buried by his family the day after his death, fuelling widespread anger and suspicion about how he died. He has now been exhumed.

Since his death his fans and other celebrities have called for justice with the hashtag #justiceformohbad trending on X, formerly Twitter. There have also been protests.

However, according to a report in the Punch newspaper, Marley wasn’t arrested and neither the state services department nor the police have detained anyone over Mohbad’s death. 

The spokesperson for the Lagos annex of the police’s criminal investigations department, Oluniyi Ogundeyi, told Punch: “The report is false; it is a lie; no one has been arrested. The police did not arrest Naira Marley or Sam Larry.” 

On 18 September, the Lagos state police command set up a panel to probe the death of the musician. The state’s governor has also promised a thorough investigation.

However, at time of publication on 22 September, no arrests have been made.

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