The Nigerian Copyright Commission has filed a lawsuit at the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court against members of the Copyright Society of Nigeria including Chief Tony Okoroji, Chinedu Chukwuji, Bernice Eremieghe, and Anne Okomi alleging criminal charges.
The Director General of the commission, Afam Ezekude accused the defendants of carrying out the duties of a collecting society without the approval of the Nigerian Copyright Commission.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants were accused by the commission for demanding royalties from media company, Noah’s Ark, based in Lagos which is punishable under sections 39 (4), (5) and (6) of the Copyright Act Cap C 28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
It will be recalled that the Nigerian Copyright Commission had on April 30, 2018, pursuant to certain provisions of the Copyright Act and the Copyright (Collective Management Organisation) Regulation 2007, suspended the license it granted to COSON to operate as a collecting society. The NCC claimed that the suspension was as a result of the refusal of the management of COSON to comply with directives of the Commission issued after an investigations into a lingering dispute in the governing board of COSON which led to conflicting claims by two groups as the legitimate governing board of the society.
The commission claims that the Copyright Society of Nigeria has continued to disregard the directive of the commission, and also acted in violation of the order of suspension of its operating license as a collective management organization.
The Director General of the Commission, Afam Ezekude expressed his deep commitment to having a transparent and accountable system of collective management.
Nigerian Copyright Commission v. Copyright Society of Nigeria
Charge NO: FHC/L/338C/18
Filing Date – October 8, 2018
Court – Lagos Division of the Federal High Court.
Defendants – Chief Tony Okoroji, Chinedu Chukwuji, Bernice Eremieghe, and Anne Okomi