Mohbad’s Demise: Reps Invite NCC Over Rights


Late Mohbad.

The Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) was on Tuesday invited by the House of Representatives in its bid to protect the rights of late Ilerioluwa Aloba, a.k.a. Mohbad’s songs and lyrics.

This is sequel to the adoption of a motion by Hon. Babajimi Benson (APC-Lagos) at the resumed plenary in Abuja on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Benson, said that Mohbad tragically died under mysterious circumstances on September 12 and his name had continued to make headlines, dominating discussions across and beyond the nation.

He said there had been protests and procession of youths chanting his name, calling for an investigation as they marched to a tribute concert, with numerous musicians in attendance.

Benaon said it was evident that Mohbad’s fans were struggling to come to terms with his untimely demise, adding that the late singer also known as Imole, “light” in Yoruba, was an artiste who sang of peace and light.

He said Mohbad left his record label, Marlian Records, owned by Azeez Fashola (Naira Marley) in 2022, citing various grievances, including unpaid royalties.

He said the issue was indicative of a broader problem in which artistes encountered challenges asserting their rights.

Suggesting that a disturbing industry practice had come to the fore, Benson added that evidence of mistreatment highlighted the struggle of young artistes in the country.

The Rep. said in their quest for success, they became entangled in parasitic contracts and faced bullying when they sought to exit these agreements, pointing out that Mohbad’s case was not an isolated one, as many artistes in Nigeria found themselves ensnared in unfavourable contractual agreements.

This he said limited their creative freedom and financial growth, adding that the situation could lead to disputes and at times, even violence.

Nigerian music industry, he held, lacked substantial institutional funding, pushing many artistes into unscrupulous contracts with record labels.

Addressing the issue, insisted, was vital for the industry’s growth and sustainability.

The lawmaker said he was disturbed that most of the proceeds of the late artiste were going to the Marlian Music Group.

He added that there had been no move from any agency to protect the estate of the late singer who was the 46th best-selling digital artiste in the world.

The House observed a minute of silence in honour of Mohbad and called for the protection of the rights of young promising artistes in contracts with their record labels.

It called for monitoring of the ongoing investigation on Mohbad’s death, particularly the allegations of harassment and unpaid royalties.

The House urged NCC to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including record labels, artistes, legal experts, and industry associations, to develop and implement industry-wide guidelines.

The guidelines should ensure fair treatment, transparent contractual agreements, and proper compensation for artistes, reviewing existing copyright and contract laws in Nigeria, identifying gaps or areas in need of reform.

The House also mandated its Committee on Justice and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

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