According to a statement issued by the Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Mr. Afam Ezekude, the Operating License of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (Ltd/Gte) (COSON) is and remains suspended until further notice.
Mr. Ezekude was prompted to respond to this following a recent social media publications made by COSON claiming that the Federal High Court had ordered the NCC to suspend all actions, proceedings and processes relating to the suspension of its license and the freezing of its bank account. According to him, the commission has not been served with any order of the Federal High Court as regards the suspension of the operating license of COSON, and is not aware of any such order.
The DG noted that the said publication did not disclose the particulars of the case in which the Order was made such as, the suit number of the case; the Judge of the Federal High Court that made the order nor the date that the order was made and therefore urged stakeholders and the general public to disregard COSON’s claims.
Speaking further, Mr. Ezekude disclosed that following the suspension of COSON’s operating license by the Commission in April 2018, some members of COSON instituted an action in suit No. FHC/EN/CS/58/2018 at Enugu division of the Federal High Court against the Commission and some of its officials challenging the suspension of the operating license of COSON. In a preliminary objection to the suit filed by the Commission, the court presided over by Justice Liman struck out the Commission as a party in that case on June 11, 2018. Mr. Ezekude further stated that no order was made against the Commission.
Similarly, a case was instituted by some members of COSON purporting to act on behalf of the society in suit No. FHC/L/CS/6006/18 (Copyright Society of Nigeria & Ors Vs Efe Omoregbe & 7 Ors) at the Lagos division of the Federal High Court with the Commission listed as a defendant in the case. The matter which is currently pending before Justice Seidu has been adjourned to September 26, 2018. No order has so far been made against the Commission in that case.
By virtue of the suspension which is still in force, the DG, further stated that COSON is not entitled to carry out any functions of a Collecting Society; to wit; soliciting, negotiating for copyright license; or collecting royalties for and on behalf of owners of Copyright in Music and Sound Recordings; until otherwise determined.