A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on February 14, 2017, sentenced one Mr. Donatus Daniel Madu to one year imprisonment on a two count charge of exposing, offering for sale and being in possession of infringing copies of cinematographic works other than for private use.
The Nigerian Copyright Commission filed charges (FHC/L/40C/2015) against the accused following an anti-piracy raid conducted by enforcement officers of the Commission at Alaba International Market and Trade Fair Complex in Lagos State leading to the arrest of the accused. In the raid carried out on February 9, 2017, 429 copies of cinematographic works in which copyright subsist in favor of G-Media Distribution, Olasco Films Nigeria Ltd., Arise Films & Music Ltd. Some of the infringing works include ‘Tango with me’, ‘Onyi Ozi’, ‘Mr & Mrs’, ‘OmoGaga’ and ‘Tapa Titan,’ which were seized as exhibits from the accused.
The accused was charged under Section 20 (2)(a) and Section 20 (2) (c) of the Copyright Act Cap C28 of the Copyright, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. Although he was granted bail, he was unable to fulfill the terms of the bail and remained in detention for eleven months before the judgment was delivered.
Justice O. Oguntoyinbo delivering the judgement sentenced the accused after he pleaded guilty to both counts as stated on the charge sheet. The prosecution tendered evidence through its witness and several documentary evidence including infringing copies of film works seized from the accused.
The sentence term is to run concurrently as indicated in charge number FHC/L/40C/2015; NCC V. Donatus Daniel Madu.
The prosecution asked the court to convict the accused person based on his admission of guilt, the witness testimony and all the documentary, and real evidence tendered in the case in line with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and the Copyright Act Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.