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Mohbad’s family lawyers question toxicology results, demand new probe

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The legal team representing the Aloba family has expressed dissatisfaction with the toxicology test results concerning the late singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba,  aka Mohbad.

The legal practitioners, Wahab Shittu (SAN) and Taiwo Odumosu, Esq., during a press briefing held via Zoom on Monday, faulted the handling of the procedures, adding that it raised serious concerns about the integrity and thoroughness of the investigation by the police and the medical team into Mohbad’s death.

PUNCH Metro exclusively reported that the US-based lab refuted the claim by the Lagos State Government that the toxicology test was conducted at its facility.

The revelation was in response to inquiries made by our correspondent, who embarked on a fact-finding mission to ascertain the musician’s cause of death.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, while responding to inquiries via a live telephone call with Ahmad Isah, the anchor of an Abuja-based online programme, Brekete Family, sometime in February 2024, had said the toxicology test was being conducted at the NMS Labs in Pennsylvania, USA.

However, a pathologist, while testifying before the Coroner’s Court on May 15, revealed that an autopsy couldn’t determine Mohbad’s cause of death due to the decomposition of his body

Responding to PUNCH Metro’s inquiry on May 17, the Client Services Associate, Forensics Division, NMS Labs, Esther Dede, stated, “Unfortunately, we do not have a case for that patient.”

While citing the report, Shittu stated that the silence that followed from the government made a review of the toxicology test a necessity.

Shittu, who claimed there were discrepancies regarding the involvement of NMS Labs alleged that the letterhead and address of the facility appeared on the toxicology report despite conflicting statements from the laboratory regarding their actual role in the testing process.

He said, “We, the legal representatives of the Aloba Family, express our profound dissatisfaction and disappointment with the recent announcement regarding the toxicology test results of the late Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, which have been declared ‘inconclusive’ by the pathologist. This outcome is entirely unacceptable to us and the Aloba Family and raises serious concerns about the integrity and thoroughness of the investigation by the police and the medical team into the untimely death of their beloved son, brother, and friend. The Aloba family and, indeed, the whole world demand to know where the toxicology test was carried out as this has impugned the integrity.

“Following the news report in the Punch Newspaper of 31 May 2024 titled ‘US Lab Denies Conducting Poison Test on Mohbad’ and the silence that followed from the government, a review of the toxicology test must be necessary. The legal team wonders how the letterhead and the address of the National Medical Services Laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA appeared on the toxicology test report if the test was not truly carried out in the USA.

“The legal team is puzzled more, given the discrepancies in the further response given by the NMS laboratories ascribing the test to another sister laboratory. The conflict of interest bothers professional integrity. The public is interested in knowing the relationship between the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Laboratory, NMS in the USA and ITSI Biosciences who allegedly completed the toxicology test on behalf of the Lagos State government.”

While describing Mohbad as a vibrant and promising young individual whose sudden demise left an indelible void, Shittu said the declaration of the autopsy as ‘inconclusive’ failed to provide the clarity needed and undermined the public as well as his family’s faith in the investigative process.

The legal team, however, demanded a fresh examination of the toxicology samples by an independent and reputable forensic laboratory, ensuring transparency throughout.

The team also called for a thorough review of testing protocols to prevent procedural errors or contamination, just as it urged the involvement of international forensic experts to oversee and validate the re-examination process.

It insisted on complete transparency in sharing all findings and reports related to the toxicology tests, urging expedited efforts to re-examine the samples and deliver definitive answers promptly.

Furthermore, the legal team criticised the Nigeria Police for what they deemed insufficient effort in the investigation while calling for the intervention of the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun.

“The Aloba Family remains steadfast in their pursuit of truth and justice for Ilerioluwa. They deserve clear, definitive answers regarding the cause of his death, and it is the responsibility of the investigative bodies to provide them with such clarity. The current ‘inconclusive’ results only serve to prolong their agony and uncertainty, which is both unfair and unjust.

“Considering the Coroner Inquest, we appeal to the presiding Magistrate to ensure that an independent toxicology report is submitted to the Coroner’s Court before submitting the final report to the authorities. Presently, we have an application before the Coroner Court seeking approval to conduct an independent autopsy and toxicology test. We call on the presiding magistrate in the matter to expedite a hearing on the independent autopsy and toxicology application. That is the only way justice can be served in this case,” the statement added.

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