LAGOS: Nigerian pop star Davido was questioned twice by police over the suspicious death of his friend after two other members of his entourage died later in the same week.
The incident triggered passionate reactions in Nigeria, where the 24-year-old singer, whose real name is David Adedeji Adeleke, is a generational star with 2.8 million followers on Twitter and five million on Instagram.
Tagbo Umeike had a night of heavy drinking – he had 40 shots of tequila, according to the police – with his friends, including Davido, before his body was abandoned at Lagos Island General Hospital in the early hours of October 3.
Umeike’s girlfriend Caroline Danjuma, an actress in Nigeria’s film industry Nollywood, accused Davido of abandoning his friend, saying he should explain himself.
When first questioned by police, Davido said he was at a club and only heard of Umeike’s death hours after the fact, Lagos state police commissioner Imohimi Edgal told a press conference on Wednesday.
“However, investigation revealed that Davido’s white Toyota Hilux escort driver… took the deceased to the General Hospital and abandoned him in his vehicle on the instruction of Davido,” Edgal said.
“The interim autopsy report stated that the victim died of asphyxia, which means suffocation,” said Edgal, adding that the singer was questioned again on Wednesday.
Two other members of the singer’s entourage died a few days after Umeike. Their bodies were discovered on October 7 in a BMW parked in a private residence in the ultra-chic Lagos area Banana Island.
Local media initially reported the deaths were from overdoses, but police said they were waiting for autopsy results.
In a video published on his Instagram account on Wednesday, Davido denounced “lies everywhere” after internet rumours about the deaths.
“Due to respect for Tagbo and his family, I haven’t spoken about the issue since (his death). Soon, a statement and footage will be released. Enough is enough,” Davido said.