Ludacris’ longtime manager Chaka Zulu (real name: Ahmed Obafemi) was arrested on a number of charges, including murder, on September 13. According to inmate records at the Fulton County, Georgia Jail, Obafemi — who turned himself in voluntarily — faces additional charges of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and simple battery for a June shooting outside Atlanta’s APT 4B restaurant that left 23-year-old Artez Benton dead. Records show that Obafemi was tied up on the same day.
Late Saturday night (September 17), Obafemi’s lawyer Gabe Banks released a statement via Instagram about the arrest and insisted his client acted in self-defense.
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“Mr. Chaka Zulu, the beloved son of the city of Atlanta is disappointed by the Atlanta Police Department’s decision to press charges against him in connection with the shooting that occurred in June 2022,” he said. “A careful review of all the evidence evidence, including surveillance footage and interviews with eyewitnesses, reveals that Mr. Zulu was attacked and jumped from behind by a gang of at least four (4) persons (sadly including the deceased) and was forced to defend himself after this gang repeatedly stomped, punched and kicked him while he was on the ground in a defenseless position.”
Banks also pointed out that not only did the incident take place at Obafemi’s home, but he was shot in the back during the fight and almost died.
“In an attempt to save his life, Mr. Zulu legally fired his gun in self-defense, a gun he was licensed to carry. Mr. Zulu fully cooperated with law enforcement officials and their investigation and voluntarily surrendered upon learning of the warrants.”
Both Obafemi and Banks are confident that the veteran music executive’s name will be cleared during the upcoming criminal proceedings. Banks added: “It is not lost on Mr Zulu that someone lost his life, but if Mr Zulu had not been lawfully defending himself, Mr Zulu would have been killed that night.”
Obafemi, Ludacris and Obafemi’s brother Jeff Dixon founded Disturbing Tha Peace Records in 1998, home to artists such as Chingy, Bobby V and Lil Scrappy. He also played a key role in Ludacris’ deal with Def Jam in 2008 and served as the rapper-actor’s manager for many years.
In 2019, Obafemi, as Chaka Zulu, joined Spotify as head of artist and talent relations.
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