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US lab denies conducting poison test on Mohbad

The management of the National Medical Services Laboratories (NMS Labs) in Pennsylvania, USA, has denied the Lagos State Government’s claim that a toxicology test to determine the cause of singer Ilerioluwa Aloba, aka Mohbad’s, death was conducted at their facility.

NMS Labs responded to inquiries from our correspondent, who conducted a fact-finding mission to verify the musician’s cause of death.

Prior to this mission, members of the public protested against a pathologist’s claim, made before the Coroner’s Court on May 15, that an autopsy could not determine Mohbad’s cause of death due to decomposition.

The state government’s counsel, O. Akinde, informed the Coroner’s Court in November 2023 that a toxicology test, part of the autopsy to ascertain Mohbad’s death, was conducted in the United States.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, affirmed this claim during a live telephone call on the Brekete Family program in February 2024, stating that the toxicology test was performed at NMS Labs in Pennsylvania.“The matter is being handled by the state DNA and Forensic Centre, but they are doing skeletal services, and they have affiliate centres which are three.

So, if there is an emergency like this one that we have, they will not say they cannot handle it. So, there are three of them in the US, and the one handling this particular one is the NMS in Pennsylvania, USA,” Omotoso stated during the program.

The test results reportedly arrived in Nigeria in April 2024 and were given to a pathologist for interpretation.

The pathologist later told the coroner’s court that the autopsy could not determine Mohbad’s cause of death due to decomposition.

During the fact-finding mission, our correspondent verified the locations of NMS Labs and two associated crime labs in Pennsylvania and Texas.

An email inquiry was sent to confirm if a toxicology test for Mohbad was conducted at their facility.NMS Labs’ Client Services Associate, Forensics Division, Esther Dede, responded to PUNCH Metro on May 17, refuting the state government’s claim, stating, “Unfortunately, we do not have a case for that patient.”

Dede added that they would need authorization from the submitting agency to comply with HIPAA privacy regulations.When contacted on Wednesday, Commissioner Omotoso said the information about the lab was provided by the state DNA and Forensic Centre.

“This was what I was told by the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre officials who took the sample there.

They have three other labs that they have affiliations with. If they have an emergency, they can go to any of the three labs. I asked which particular one did they go to, and they answered it was that one.

That means I will have to go and check again because that was what I was told.”Mohbad, a former signee of Marlian Music owned by Naira Marley, died at the age of 27 on September 12, 2023. His death sparked controversies on social media.

The Lagos State Police Command established a 13-man special investigation team on September 18, 2023, to probe his death, leading to the arrest of Naira Marley and controversial socialite Balogun Eletu, aka Sam Larry, among others. Mohbad’s body was exhumed on September 21, 2023, for an autopsy to determine the cause of his death.

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