Legal Drama

Trouble for Davido? Police reveal shocking truth about Tagbo’s death, arrests Davido’s staff and friends, re-invites superstar for questioning

More details have emerged about the death of Tagbo Umeike who was Nollywood actress Caroline Danjuma’s fiancé and a close friend to Davido. Sadly, those facts link back to Davido and contradict all previously released statements from Davido’s camp disassociating the superstar from Tagbo’s death. If you are new to this story, please reference the following newly archived stories on AML for context and to get caught up:

  1. Is Sony Artist Davido an Accomplice to the Alleged Murder of Tagbo as Caroline Danjuma Claims? + Alcohol Toxicity Deaths
  2. Davido responds to allegation that he was involved in the death of Tagbo, and dumped his body at a Lagos hospital
  3. Involuntary Manslaughter? Davido further implicated in Tagbo’s death #Tagbo

The shocking truth about Tagbo’s death based on police findings, so far, are as follows:

  1. On October 3, 2017, at 09 20 hours in Lagos, Nigeria, the Chief Security Officer of The General Hospital in Lagos contacted the police to inform them that two unidentified men dropped a dead body at the hospital and fled.
  2. The hospital security personnel claimed that the two men were in an “ash-colored” Toyota Camry salon Car with a license plate number of LSD738EL.
  3. When the police arrived at the scene, they found an international passport on the deceased and was able to identify him as Tagbo Umeike.
  4. Shortly after, Nollywood Actress Caroline Danjuma took to social media to claim that Umeike died in the company of friends which included Davido.
  5. Per the pressure of the public and the viral nature of Danjuma’s actions and allegations, the Chief of Police called for a pre-investigation meeting which included Danjuma, Davido, their family and friends and other police personnel.
  6. In the meeting, the police confirmed that Tagbo met and had drinks with friends at Shisha bar which included Davido.
  7. The Shisha Room bartender who served Tagbo that night was present at this meeting and informed the police that Tagbo drank at least 40 shots of tequila!
  8. The Shisha Room’s closed-circuit television (CCTV) aka video surveillance camera in police custody also showed that Tagbo became belligerent (quarrelsome and violent) at some point during the night of October 3, 2017 while at Shisha.
  9. In that same meeting, Davido claimed that he left Shisha Room without Tagbo and headed to DNA nightclub in Victoria Island. Davido claims he was only informed by mutual friends that were at DNA of Tagbo’s death. This according to the police was a lie.
  10. The police claim their investigations show that Tunde Yusuf (Davido’s driver) drove Davido’s white Toyota Hilux car in the company of Agbaje Olaoye and Idris Busari (Davido’s friends) with Tagbo’s body and, at the alleged instruction of Davido, dumped the body at the Lagos General hospital and fled.
  11. The hospital’s CCTV video surveillance captured the white car and the entire actions of the men dumping the body at the hospital. The vehicle was later recovered from Davido’s residence located at 7 Awosike street in Lekki phase 1, Lagos.
  12. The autopsy report for Tagbo reveals he died of asphyxia (suffocation) and not from alcohol intoxication.
  13. Given Davido’s initial statement to the police and in light of new evidence directly contradicting his statement, Davido was re-invited to the police station for questioning.
  14. Finally, there are two other deaths which happened two days after Tagbo’s death and are related to Davido. They are the deaths of DJ Olu, Davido’s DJ, and Chime, his friend, who were found dead in a car. The police are investigating the cause of death for DJ Olu and Chime which appear linked to drugs.

What Does Davido Have to Say for Himself?

Very little publicly, so far. He claims all of what has been stated by the police are lies and that in due time a footage and statement will be released exonerating him.

“Lies everywhere due to respect for Tagbo and his family, I haven’t spoken about this issue since.
Soon a statement and footage will be released, enough is enough.
“God bless you guys!!! everyone be safe.”

After his re-invitation and questioning at the police station, he took to social media again to vent about his good nature and people taking advantage of him.

“My heart is pure and the world knows, please God keep my heart the same. Please don’t give me a change of heart Lord, I shall remain a giving being.”

Ms. Uduak’s Legal Commentary & Analysis

Davido and his team are readers of this blog. So this is directly addressed to them.

  1. The issue here is not so much that Tagbo died, albeit that in itself is very tragic. As it relates to you Davido and your team, the issue is how did Tagbo die, especially since he was allegedly in your custody after consuming 40 shots of tequila.
  2. The handling of a crisis such as this is sensitive and Davido, you and your “crew” should be nowhere near social media directly responding to this. The allegations and findings of the police are damning. THIS IS WHERE A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER COMES IN, HIRE ONE! Also, hire a competent publicist with a superior understanding of the sensitive terrain that this case entails who will work with your lawyers to release statements to the press and public.
  3. To all artists, Nigerian criminal law mirrors America’s in many ways. Therefore, when you are called in by the police for questioning, you generally should not walk into a police station and just talk. Consult and have your criminal defense lawyer, not an entertainment lawyer, present. There are some entertainment lawyers, such as myself, with extensive criminal defense experience. If you can find such a person in Nigeria, that person would be an ideal lawyer.
  4. The reason you have your criminal defense lawyer present is that what you say will and can be used against you in a court of law. Therefore, at this stage, no matter your impulse and emotions are, the focus is not about pleading your innocence, at this time, with the public. It is about cooperating with the police and answering their questions under the legal guidance and advice of your criminal defense lawyer.
  5. I have been saying this and will say it again, “Mr. Adeleke Senior, Davido’s dad, you need to step in and help your son obtain the serious and necessary counseling services he needs for the loss of his mother which may have a direct link to his very reckless acts that have been publicized over time, including the latest one of daring others to consume such high amounts of alcohol leading to this tragic incidence. He will self-destruct at the rate he is going and it will be bad for all involved starting with your family, and needless to say, the culture.”

AML people, there are still more facts that will emerge from this case. In addition, note that there is no mention in the press statement by the police of who bought the 40 shots of tequila for Tagbo. I would like to know that information. Per eyewitness statements previously reported, it is alleged that Davido had a bet to see who could drink 10 shots of tequila. Who paid for the 40 shots of tequila that Tagbo drank? I think both for criminal and civil culpability, it will be important to know.

Finally, all fingers point, so far, to my initial discussion, analysis, and conclusion that there may be a potential criminal case to be made for involuntary manslaughter. Davido and his crew all hung out with Tagbo. Davido had a bet. Tagbo who is skinny and allegedly not much of a heavy drinker got very drunk trying to be the winner of the bet. Seeing that Tagbo was that drunk (40 shots of tequila), Davido did the right thing, if the statements of witnesses are to be believed, by insisting that Tagbo not drive home drunk. What was wrong, however, is the alleged statement by a key witness, a member of his crew, who claims that all of them drove with Tagbo in the car to the beach and left Tagbo in the car with the car locked. When the witness returned, he saw Tagbo gasping for air and shortly after Tagbo died. The action of leaving a drunk man who has consumed 40 shots of tequila in a locked car where he is deprived of oxygen and is most likely to become unconscious or suffocate and die, is what is at issue here.

The key question has to be whether Davido’s alleged good Samaritan action and those in the car with him rose to the level of criminal negligence or recklessness (involuntary manslaughter under Nigerian criminal law)?

In addition, there is also an equally major issue for Davido. If there is no wrongdoing, after the death, why did Davido and his crew try to cover up? At a minimum, it shows the ill-intent of all the participants in the vehicle. If Davido was not in the vehicle but gave the instructions that his driver and friends followed, then he may very well be an accomplice (an accessory after the fact) to the death of Tagbo and may be held criminally liable, regardless of how kind-hearted or good-natured he claims to be.

What Davido is trying to do is essentially divorce himself completely from the entire fiasco. The problem is that Davido still has to explain why the car used to transport and dump Tagbo’s body at the hospital was found at his residence. He also has to explain why he did not call the police. He has to explain why Tagbo’s body was even dumped at the hospital in the first place? At a minimum, as a close friend, he should have been concerned that Tagbo made it safely home, and followed up with the hospital to ensure the well being of his friend.

Finally, what the police also needs to do is to subpoena cell phone records from MTN or whomever the mobile network provider is for Davido. They can then really place the timing of death, and trace all calls that were made to Davido while he was at Shisha Room. They can determine when Davido actually left Shisha Room, when Tagbo’s body was dumped at the hospital, among other things.

All eyes on Davido. Let’s see how this case unfolds.

-Ms. Uduak

The police press conference footage

Kudos to Linda Ikeji and all Nigerian media at the police press conference who shared the news and video footage.  Nigerian society and its citizens benefit when we show its law enforcement in front of the camera doing their job. This encourages citizens to have faith in the legal justice system and take their matters to the police instead of the all too common silence or vigilante justice we are all intimately familiar with. Hats off to all.

Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law website, livestream and podcast show empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through its brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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1 Comment

  1. Winston Balagare says:

    Wow. I knew David was on the wrong path, but I never imagined it would end like this. I’m only just hearing of the passing of DJ Olu, and I’m shocked. I hope the families of the deceased get some sort of closure and some answers in the end.

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