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FOR the benefit of those who don’t understand Yoruba at all, “tani baba baby” simply means, “Who is the father of the baby”? And in this case, the question goes to Wunmi, the acclaimed widow of late Afro pop singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba popularly known as Mohbad, who died in a controversial circumstances last September in Lagos.

It was another Afro pop star, Naira Marley, who asked this question in a mocking song he put out on Social Media about a month ago, apparently, targeted at Wunmi, as the controversy over the paternity of her one year old son she purportedly had for Mohbad before his demise rages on.

It took less than a month after the death of Mohbad for tongues to start wagging about the paternity of Liam, who was then about five months old. He just celebrated his one year birth anniversary this April. Different stories, mostly concocted anyway, found their way out into the public space, of her escapades and a certain voice note purportedly by Mohbad, gave verve to the allegations of infidelity. A section of the public consequently called for a DNA test on little Liam to clarify if he is truly the son of Mohbad. At that point, one would agree with the #justiceformohbad mob that argued that it was too early for such a call as the late artiste was freshly buried and days after exhumed by the police for an autopsy to ascertain cause of death since the allegation was that he was murdered by either close friends, family or former business associates. But the call on Wunmi Mohbad to consent to a DNA test on Liam won’t go away even as different stories about her past kept creeping out, some very ridiculous, audacious and unbelievable, but it gave the gang seeking a DNA more energy to carry on.

The one that got most talking was when the father of the late artiste, Joseph Aloba revealed that his son told him that he reunited with Wunmi at Marlian Records after some years and started the relationship again. Mr. Aloba said the duo were dating back in the day but lost contact and when Mohbad was signed to Naira Marley’s Marlian Record, he met Wunmi there.

Now, it is not in any public record that Wunmi Mohbad is an artiste or perhaps, an Artistes Manager, so what was she doing at Naira Marley’s place? Well, maybe as a Secretary of Marlian Records, perhaps. While this is not a reflection on the character of Naira Marley, but a young girl in her early 20s in the midst of Naira Marley and his crew is no longer a young girl again, if you truly understand the drift here. This and other stories may have triggered a man who is not family to the Alobas to offer Wunmi 10 million naira if she consents to a DNA test on her son and the test returned positive. Guess that offer was not attractive enough to her because she did not respond to it any day, rather, it was her on and offline legion of soldiers busy responding to any of such calls for the test and the Commander of the Wunmi armed forces battalion is Nollywood actress Iyabo Ojo.

At a point, one had to wonder if Ms Ojo has been intimated about something and that was why she was fighting so hard to defend Wunmi on the DNA issue. There was no week that Iyabo Ojo would not make a video online giving the public reasons, in a subtle way, why the DNA test should not hold. And on her tail were thousands of supporters whipping up different kinds of emotions and calling the people who dared to ask for the test, ‘Online In-laws’, ‘Busy Bodies’ and other names. Initially they said the people asking for the DNA test were not in any position to make that call as only the family had that prerogative. That was a valid argument truly, but it is a Social Media world and people will always talk, and talked they did, consistently about the test.

Then, the pressure became too much for Mr. Aloba to bear, he heard things, he read things too and he was convinced that the DNA was needed to put to rest the lingering issue and give the family some form of closure and or compensation, after the tragic death of Mohbad. And that not only would the test be done in two different facilities, he would be physically present at both venues.

Aloba was quoted in a news report thus: “Concerning the DNA test, it’s a must they do it. Nigerians are demanding it. I heard rumours that they did it, but no matter what, I’m Mohbad’s father, so I’ll give consent to the DNA test or send anyone who can represent me during the test if I’m not there to know how they’ll do it, it can’t be done. And even when they want to do it, it should be done in two different places so we can be very sure and know the truth.

“Also, where I am from in Ikere Ekiti, even Olu of Ikere just left my side now after visiting me. We don’t accept bastards where I’m from, but it will be a thing of joy for me if this child is Mohbad’s because this is the only child he said he left for me. Three days before his death, I was with him, he even served me food, and he put Liam on my hands, and he was taking pictures.”

This comment from Mohbad’s father turned him against Wunmi’s emotional armed forces. That was when they all began to see him as a ‘gold digger’ out to inherit his son’s wealth (there has always been speculations about how wealthy Mohbad was or would be in death, no exact figures anyway). The conspiracy theory was and still is, Mr. Aloba wants to use the DNA test to remove little Liam from the sole heir position and take over. How? Does this argument signify that Liam is not the biological son of Mohbad because if he is truly, and the DNA proves that, how will Mr. Aloba then remove him from the position he is occupying by virtue of his birth? And how will the older Aloba even achieve his so called ‘sinister’ plans if Liam is truly the son of Mohbad? And how would the world find out if Liam is the son of Mohbad unless through a DNA test? Oh, someone actually told me online to take a look at Liam and Mohbad and whether I did not see the resemblance? Really? I forgot to tell him that the same child had been claimed to resemble two others, one Sam Larry (an associate of Naira Marley who was arrested alongside Marley by the police when investigations started last year) and the other a certain royalty when the issue of DNA began, so, which one do we really take?

A question one needs to answer here is, what part of the African culture forbids a father from inheriting his late son’s wealth or is there any law in the Nigeria jurisprudence that says that a father cannot inherit his son’s wealth? This question(s) is pertinent because the way people have been demonising the older Aloba over what they believe is his intention to either take all or part of Mohbad’s estate is shocking and distasteful to say the least. Even if Liam turns out to be Mohbad’s son, will he and the mother take everything without at least giving the father who trained him, took care of him in the absence of his runaway mother? Will that be what any reasonable person will call fairness and justice?

Okay, now, the father had bowed to the pressure from the ‘online in-laws’ and ‘busybodies’ for a DNA test to be conducted. That was since October last year. Wunmi has been fighting using all subterfuge means to avoid it. At a point, she was reported to have given some very ridiculous conditions before she consents to the test one of which is, it MUST be done in America and the father of Mohbad would foot the expenses. Very laughable, right? So, she does not believe in the medical facilities in Nigeria and she wants the test done in America. Before then, she had been screaming and also using proxies to put out materials in the public space that the same people that ‘killed’ Mohbad are after her life and that of her son’s. Give it to Wunmi, she or her handlers are very smart. Once a character like Wunmi gets to the US, it will be an asylum issue, no longer a DNA test thing and trust what she will say; the family of her late husband is after her life and that of her son’s. There are a lot of materials already to back her claim. And America nor dey take ear hear dat kain tin. And Mohbad’s case was even a global one to some extent, a click on any device with the Internet would tell you more about the issue, from any part of the world. A statement/WhatsApp chat purportedly from Wunmi was made public by Iyabo Ojo that Wunmi was waiting for the conclusion of the Coroner’s inquest where the chat said she would reveal what the public did not know and after that, “DNA a must”, the chat or what you can call a statement said. The public waited for the bombshell Wunmi promised to drop at the inquest and what she was able to say was that the older Aloba used to bring his girlfriend to their home in Lekki and she would serve him food and they would sleep over! And so? What has that got to do with the death of Mohbad or did someone allege that the girlfriend of the father killed Mohbad? Anyways, that was not a knockout talk less of a bomb. Days and weeks went by, everybody waited for her to fulfil her promise of consenting to the DNA test after dropping the ‘bombshell’ at the Coroner’s inquest; that did not happen, it has not happened and it may never happen, and Mr. Aloba seems to know this so he went to court to seek an order compelling Wunmi to obey the family’s wishes. On hearing that his former father in law had gone to court, Wunmi flew off the handle and in an Instagram video, she was seen wailing and raising all form of hell that ‘somebody’ wants to kill her son. That girl is smart, or rather, she thinks she is smart.

Someone actually told me that Wunmi thinks getting a sample for a DNA involves using a syringe to take the blood of the subject ONLY. So, she is making people to believe that in the course of taking her son’s blood samples, some dangerous substances may be injected into his system and he will die tragically like his father. Can someone please tell Mrs. Mohbad that DNA samples can be extracted from a strand of hair, a swab of a cotton bud in a person’s sweat or spittle, the shirt sweated on by anybody, a shoe worn for a long time…the list is endless. Nobody needs the physical presence of Liam, so that you don’t think the grandfather would use that opportunity to take him out and inherit the BILLIONS some claim Naira Marley is owing Mohbad. As long as the right samples are presented, Liam will still be in his rocker at home while the test is being conducted somewhere under the strict supervision of both families and law enforcement officers since this case has officially gone out of the hands of the families.

Days after Wunmi’s rant, an over bleached lady who claims to be her sister came on Instagram and was berating a Yoruba movie star, Yomi Fabiyi for daring to join the people calling on Wunmi for a DNA test on Liam. She made a startling revelation that her sister treated infections she got from Mohbad so many times in the course of their marriage. Now, let us properly interrogate the message the sister was trying to pass to the public. She alleged that Mohbad infected her sister, Wunmi with STDs so many times, so, consequently, the infections may have altered the DNA sequence of the son, that was the underlying message she wanted to pass. Now, she was fishing, preparing the minds of the public for a possible negative result of the DNA. That was really smart but very dumb too! In 2024, one semi literate girl trying to sell a narrative that is medically impossible!

Wunmi is smart all the same, she was smart enough to recruit the estranged wife of Aloba, the mother of Mohbad into her already large army. A deal must have been struck because for a woman who reportedly abandoned Mohbad and his sibling for the husband for years now to suddenly show up at the demise of the boy and pitched tent with the wife of the late young man whose fidelity is being brutally questioned…an accord must have been reached or Mummy Mohbad is doing what she is doing out of malice to spite her estranged husband. And as a clever diversionary strategy, Mohbad’s mother publicly declared she did not have Mohbad for Mr. Aloba! That was a clever move and that to Wunmi should unsettle the meddlesome father asking for a DNA of her dear son, Liam. An African proverb says “Only a woman knows the father of her child”. Well, that proverb does not apply to this present generation of women. When a woman has multiple sex partners and she is very active with all of them, it will be extremely difficult for her to know, truly, who the father of her baby is. But Mummy Mohbad does not belong to this generation, she is old school, so, such a heavy revelation coming from her could either be true or a product of mischief as orchestrated by Wunmi to stave off Mr. Aloba who has become a pain in her ass since Mohbad passed away.

But the question Wunmi and every of her supporters need to answer is, does it not bother you all that Wunmi is fighting to avoid a simple DNA test that will make her a heroine if it turns out positive, and does that not send a wrong signal out that there is something she is hiding?

I know of a widow with two female children. Both of them are in the university presently. I quietly asked her days ago that if the family of her late husband suddenly wakes up tomorrow and demands a DNA test on her two girls to prove they are the children of their late brother, what would she do? She is an illiterate, so she first asked me what a DNA test was. I explained to her and she asked again if the test would harm her kids in any form, I told her not at all. She calmly said, “I will hand them (girls) to them (family) and ask them to return them when they are done”. She is in her 50s, she is very sure she had the two girls for her late husband, so dear Wunmi, what are you really hiding if you are very sure you had Liam for Mohbad?

At this point, one would blame the police investigating the alleged ‘murder’ of Mohbad. When a husband dies tragically, the wife is always the first ‘person of interest’ in the murder investigation until it is established that she is a suspect or cleared altogether. Same thing when a wife dies. Please note that there is a difference between being a ‘person of interest’ and a suspect. In this case, the police because they are lazy and emotional, did not even consider Mohbad’s wife a person of interest with all the controversies surrounding his death and the different stories from different people especially the boy’s father and all. She was among the last set of people who were with Mohbad days and hours to his death. Primeboy, Mohbad’s friend, said they were all together at Ikorodu when the altercation between him and his wife led to his hand injury. She was part of the story 48 hours before Mohbad died. Also, her reluctance to subject her son to a DNA test with all the accusations of infidelity and questions about the paternity of the boy automatically makes her a person of interest.

Does it not bother you that a woman is being accused of lying that the man she claims is the father of her son is not truly the father and she is tactically avoiding the issue and forming ‘I am mourning’ when by now she should be dragging everybody that accused her to court with proof of the DNA result? Why did she not raise the alarm and call family members even when Mohbad, according to claims, said he won’t go to the hospital yet his condition was getting worse? And this is not because Mohbad did not have money to afford a private or public hospital bills. Who is the father of the little boy?Only a DNA test will tell us that and she has been dodging that even when Mohbad’s father recently in a BBC interview said a DNA MUST be conducted on the boy.

Now, in every alleged Homicide, there is always a motive. It could be money, love or someone is trying to hide a dirty secret to avoid public disgrace. The Nigeria police should be able to find who has a motive to kill Mohbad and that is after the autopsy has established the cause of death to be Homicide. It is even funny that the police decided not to wait for the result of the autopsy before naming suspects. In the meantime, let us join Naira Marley in asking Wunmi Mohbad, ‘tani baba baby’?

-Akpovi-Esade is a journalist and public affairs commentator

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