The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has been invited by the House of Representatives to protect the rights of songs and lyrics of late singer, Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad.


This was after the adoption of a motion by Rep. Babajimi Benson (APC-Lagos) at the resumed plenary in Abuja on Tuesday.


The Rep member, while moving the motion, said Mohbad tragically passed away under mysterious circumstances on 12th of September, 2023.


He said ever since the singer’s death, his name had continued to make headlines and dominate discussions across and beyond the nation.


He added that there had been protests and a procession of youths chanting Mohbad’s name and the call for an investigation as they marched to a tribute concert, with numerous musicians in attendance.


Benson said it was evident that Mohbad’s fans were so saddened with his untimely death, adding that Mohbad also known as Imole, “light” in Yoruba, was an artist who sang of peace and light.


He then informed the House that Mohbad left the record label he was signed to, Marlian Records, which was owned by Azeez Fashola better known as Naira Marley in 2022, citing various grievances, including unpaid royalties.


The lawmaker stressed that the issue was indicative of a broader problem in which artists encountered challenges asserting their rights.


He further explained that this suggested a disturbing industry practice had come to the fore, adding that evidence of mistreatment highlighted the struggle of young artists in the country.


The member representing Lagos said in the quest for success, artists become entangled in parasitic contracts and face bullying when they seek to exit these agreements.


He insisted that the singer’s case was not an isolated one, as many artists in Nigeria entrapped themselves in unfavourable contractual agreements, that can lead to disputes and at times, even violence.


According to the lawmaker, addressing the issue was vital for the industry’s growth and sustainability.


Benson said he was disturbed that most of the late singer’s profits 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 of Reps observed a minute of silence to honour Mohbad and also called for the protection of the rights of young promising artists in contracts with their record labels.


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


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


According to the House, the guidelines should ensure fair treatment, transparent contractual agreements, and proper compensation for artists, 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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