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No, videos don’t show Nigerian music star Naira Marley’s house on fire after fellow musician’s funeral

IN SHORT: While rumours continue to swirl after Mohbad’s death, two viral videos don’t show musician Naira Marley’s house being set alight as some kind of payback. The videos were shot long before the controversy erupted.

An angry mob has set Nigerian musician Naira Marley’s house in Lagos on fire after the funeral of fellow musician Mohbad.

That’s the claim circulating on social media since mid-September 2023. It uses two different videos as evidence. One shows a house engulfed by flames at night. The other is a daytime aerial view of a fire on the roof of a house as firefighters scramble to put it out.

Mohbad, whose real name was Ilerioluwa Aloba, died suddenly on 12 September. He signed to Marley’s Marlian Music in 2019 but left the label in late 2022 amid a dispute that included the accusation that Marley had ordered his assault.

In the course of 2022 Mohbad said on social media that if he died, Marley should be blamed.

Soon after his death, rumours began on social media. People reportedly took to the streets demanding an investigation. Africa Check has debunked one claim that a video shows Nigeria’s state services department arresting Marley in connection with Mohbad’s death.

In a tribute to Mohbad, Marley called for a “thorough investigation” into his death.

Mohbad was buried on 13 September but his body was later exhumed for an autopsy.

The claim that Marley’s house was set on fire can also be seen here, here, here and here.

But what do the two videos really show?

False claim about Naira Marley's house

Fires in Chicago and at comedian AY’s house in Lagos

Africa Check took screenshots of frames from the videos and ran them through a Google reverse image search. 

The video of the house burning at night was actually shot in Chicago, a city in the US state of Illinois, in March.

According to several news reports that include the video, the house caught fire on the night of 6 March and burned to the ground.

The video can also be seen on YouTube, uploaded on 7 March.

The second video, of a fire on the roof of a house, is from Nigeria. But it first appeared online in early August, more than a month before Mohbad’s death.

On social media, captions to the video identify the burning house as belonging to actor and comedian Ayo Makun, popularly known as AY.

It was reported that one of AY’s houses in Lagos was razed by fire on 6 August. The comedian was in the US at the time.

Neither of the two videos shows musician Naira Marley’s house on fire in September, after the death of Mohbad.

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