As new evidence continues to emerge, emotions appear to have reached a boiling point over the sudden and controversial demise of Nigerian artist Ilerioluwa ‘Mohbad’ Oladimeji Aloba.
The death of Mohbad, aged 27, on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, a few months after he revealed that his colleagues at his former record label, Marlian Records, were after his life, has caused outrage among Nigerians who demand justice for the singer.
“Pound for pound, flesh for flesh… I want everyone with one voice to seek justice for Mohbad. All hands on deck. Justice for Mohbad. Expose them, legally or illegally,” Abiola Akinbiyi, known professionally as Bella Shmurda, said in a tweet on September 17, 2023.
The tweet, which has been reshared over 22,000 times, with an impression of 7.8 million, has added more fuel to the demand for justice for Mohbad, as many point accusing fingers at his former boss Naira Marley and Sam Larry.
While the Nigerian police stated in a press release that a “diligent investigation” would be carried out to uncover the mysteries behind his death, many fear that those responsible for the death of the musician will not be apprehended and that the matter might become another unsolved or abandoned case in Nigeria.
In a country where 73 percent of the citizens do not trust the police, according to a survey by NOI Polls, taking the law into their own hands has become one of the known ways Nigerians seek “justice.” In 2022, SB Morgen (SBM) Intelligence estimated that between 2019 and 2023, the country witnessed 279 incidents of mob justice which resulted in the deaths of at least 391 individuals. It is not surprising that many are considering ‘avenging’ the death of Mohbad if necessary.
But Jungle Justice or Mob Justice is a crime in Nigeria.
According to Section 8 (1 and 3) of the Administrative Criminal Justice Act of 2015, a suspect shall: be accorded humane treatment, with regard to their right to the dignity of their person; and not be subjected to any form of torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.
It further states that a suspect shall be brought before the court as prescribed by this Act or any other written law or otherwise released conditionally or unconditionally.
Amidst low trust in the Nigerian justice system, it is important to note that mob actions have resulted in the deaths of many Nigerians who were not proven guilty.
From Arinze Okoli, who was beaten to death on Monday, April 10, 2023, as a result of OAU’s Maximum Shishi mob action, to the deaths of Deborah Samuel and Usman Buda, who were killed over alleged blasphemy by irate mobs, innocent people can easily be harmed during Jungle Justice.