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Friday, 4 May 2018

PUBLIC STATEMENT: COPYRIGHT COMMISSION STAFF ASK DG EZEKUDE TO IMMEDIATELY WITHDRAW THE LETTER PURPORTEDLY SUSPENDING THE APPROVAL OF COSON AND TO RESIGN


PUBLIC STATEMENT
COPYRIGHT COMMISSION STAFF ASK DG EZEKUDE TO IMMEDIATELY WITHDRAW THE LETTER PURPORTEDLY SUSPENDING THE APPROVAL OF COSON AND TO RESIGN
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) Unit, an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), has called for the immediate withdrawal of a letter dated 30th April, 2018 with reference No. NCC/DG/132/I/73 signed by the DG Mr. Ezekude, purportedly suspending the approval of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) to act as collective management organization. The ASCSN, NCC Unit has also warned Mr. Ezekude to immediately desist from his brazen attempt to foist a new leadership on COSON.

In a public notice jointly signed by the Chairman, Com. Ihuma Okwu Moses and Secretary, Com Kunle Olatunji, the association said that it frowns at the fact that at no time were such weighty issues and policy decisions discussed or agreed by the management and circular issued to that effect before Mr. Ezekude issued such a provoking letter. The Association considers the suspension of COSON approval as representing the personal foible of Mr. Ezekude and not the policy of the Commission.

The association asked Mr. Ezekude to resign so as to allow the NCC play the role of an umpire in its regulatory function in Copyright
matters.


The full text of the public notice is reproduced is hereunder:

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) Unit, an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), has called for the immediate withdrawal of a letter dated 30th April, 2018 with reference No. NCC/DG/132/I/73 signed by the DG Mr. Ezekude, purportedly suspending the approval of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) to act as collective management organization. The ASCSN, NCC Unit warns Mr. Ezekude to immediately desist from his brazen attempt to foist a new leadership in COSON.

Election of the Board member/leadership of COSON is guided and regulated solely by the Articles of Association which is purely regulated by Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and not Copyright Act or Copyright (Collective Management Organization) Regulation. This fact which is an elementary principle of company law, we believe should be well understood by Mr. Ezekude the DG, Mr. Mike Akpan the Director Regulatory Department/Special Adviser to the DG and Mr. Obi Ezeilo, Head Lagos Office/NCC representative in COSON meetings.

The fact that COSON is a collective management organization does not take the legal personality of COSON as a company Ltd/Gte hence the election of the Board members as well as the operative law regulating the internal affairs of COSON is and still remains the prerogative of CAMA. Any infraction, breach or abuse in the election, composition and management of a company Ltd/Gte such as COSON can only be legitimately challenge at the Federal High Court which has jurisdiction over all matters bothering on CAMA.

The Nigeria Copyright Commission charge with the responsibility of administering and enforcing copyright matters in Nigeria and which incidentally is the regulating Agency for all Collecting Management Organizations including COSON can only regulate COSON only to the extent of collective management rights such as granting of license, collection of royalties, distribution of royalties etc and not regulating the operation of COSON as it relates to proceedings provided in Articles of Association under CAMA.

It could be recalled that COSON has been under the leadership of Chief Tony Okoroji as the Board Chairman for over seven (7) years now until December 7, 2017 when some Board members of COSON purported removed Chief Tony Okoroji and replaced him with Mr. Efe Omorogbe.

On December 19, 2017, the extra-ordinary general Assembly in its unanimous decision of the member removed Efe Omorogbe as a Board member/purported Chairman and reinstated Chief Tony Okoroji as the Chairman. The resolution removing Efe Omorogbe as a Board member/Chairman also removed over five (5) Board members of COSON and mandate the remaining five (5) Board members with Chief Tony Okoroji to replace the six (6) Board members removed pending the General Assembly schedule to hold later in May this year.

It could be recalled that the powers of the General Assembly/Extra-ordinary General Assembly is derived from Section of the COSON Bye-laws hence the business of COSON in the extra-ordinary General Assembly Congress is legitimate and binding on COSON.

It does not lie in the mouth of DG, Mr. Ezekude to declare the legitimate proceedings of COSON’s General Assembly irregular and illegitimate. The only legitimate authority of the Federal Government of Nigeria that can validly challenge the proceedings of COSON, a company Ltd/Gte is the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Federal High Court of Nigeria exercising its judicial powers.

To this extent, the action of the DG, Mr. Ezekude’s brazen and blatant refusal to abide by the resolution of the extra-ordinary General Assembly of COSON without any order of court is a flagrant abuse of process and undue arrogation of powers contrary to the extent laws and regulations within the copyright laws.

It is trite law and elementary principle of law that the status quo ante bellum is the original position before the occurrence of certain events. Flowing from the above, and given the above scenario which to the Association does not pose any legitimate dispute within COSON and granted but not conceding that there is, the status quo ante bellum remains the position of COSON before the events of 7th and 19th December, 2017 with Chief Tony Okoroji as COSON’s Substantive Chairman. This is a well established law in the Nigeria Jurisprudence and the contrary decision of the DG, Mr. Mike Akpan and Mr. Ezeilo recognizing Mr. Efe Omorogbe particularly in the letter reference No NCC/DG/050/11/348, last paragraph on page 2, is not only an indictment to the DG but as well a condemnable act which the Association will not hesitate to disassociate itself from such decision particularly as it does not represent the NCC management decision but the whims and caprices of Mr. Ezekude and his cronies Mr. Mike Akpan and Mr. Ezeilo who undoubtedly have their personal interest in the matter.

The association hereby reaffirm their position clearly that all the steps taken against COSON since January, 2018 without due recourse to any management decision of Nigeria Copyright Commission is abhorred.

The draconian directive as well as the letter written to the IGP to review their investigation already concluded on a matter and already charge to court even when NCC is not a party to the proceeding in criminal charge No. A/29/2018 COP Vs Efe Omorogbe is not only an abuse of office but also goes along way to demonstrate that Mr. Ezekude has descended into the arena of interested party and no longer an umpire as the Regulation capacity.

On this note Mr. Ezekude should voluntarily resign as the DG to allow NCC play the role of an umpire and its regulatory function in Copyright matters.

Furthermore, Mr. Ezekude in page 3 paragraph 3 of the letter under immediate reference stated that “a suit seeking among others, a declaration that Mr. Efe Omorogbe is not the Chairman of the Board of COSON, a matter which is still pending at the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja Division and await determination” Despite the knowledge of Mr. Ezekude of the pending suit as well as his knowledge of the elementary principles of law regarding sub-judice is not only pre-empting the decision of the court(s) but as well taken steps that are contemptuous of court proceedings. On this note again, the Association disassociate itself from such scandalous conduct which drags the integrity of the Commission, Management staff and our noble Associations members into disrepute.

Our concern giving rise to this publication is precipitated from a similar occurrence by the management against Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MSCN) in 2010 where the Commission was sued and damages in the sum of over forty Million was awarded against the Commission thereby depriving staff of their legitimate salaries in November and December, 2010.

The Association also considers the letter purportedly suspending the approval of COSON as a huge betrayal by Mr. Ezekude who had in a recent meeting held with the association representative after his press briefing, assured the Association that such draconian decision will not be made.

In the above reference meeting with the DG by the Association, the DG mentioned the blatant refusal of the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria to comply with the Commission directive which bothers on proper documentation that will enable the Commission to properly regulate them (even when their approval was in gross violation of section 39 (3) of the Copyright Act) since 2017, yet no sanction as been issued to them let alone suspension of the approval. Why now COSON?

Nevertheless, COSON which indisputably is the pride of the Commission, Nigeria and Africa and also an institution that has attained global excellence in Copyright Collective Administration is been witch hunted to this extent over no justifiable issue is clearly an affront on the copyright industry in Nigeria. The Association will not fold its hands and allow Mr. Ezekude destroy the institution for the career officers in the sector. On this note, we refuse to identify with Mr. Ezekude’s wanton destruction of the copyright industry.

The Association frowns at the fact that at no time were such weighty issue and policy decision discussed or agreed by the management and circular issued to that effect before Mr. Ezekude issued such a provoking letter. The Association considers the suspension of COSON approval as representing the personal foible of Mr. Ezekude and not the policy of the Commission.

The Association considers the Suspension of COSON’s approval to operate as a collecting society and also Mr. Ezekude directive to continue to meet the personal cost from the funds of creator of works as a contradiction. This directive is not only injurious but to further deepen the seeming crisis in COSON when creators funds is used to meet the personal cost without corresponding services that will generate income for COSON.

The Association also wonders if the Commission after suspending COSON’s operating license to function as collective Management organization could still regulate the organization by demanding for the statement of account within seven (7) days of receipt of the letter of suspension.

The Association finds it’s more curious that Mr. Ezekude has not considered the concomitant effect of the suspension of COSON approval vis-à-vis the unhindered access given to the users of the works of the thousands of COSON members and affiliates within and outside the country haven being authorized by the suspension of approval to use private property of individual free of charge. What an outrage!

The Association is now convinced that Mr. Ezekude has all the time personally involved in engineering and precipitating the crises in COSON, so as to destroy the nation’s most successful organization in the copyright sector.

While the Association wishes to assure all members and affiliates of COSON and all genuine creative people in Nigeria that the senior staff of NCC stands with them; the Association once again calls for the immediate sacking of Mr. Ezekude as the DG of NCC as the entire staff of NCC has totally lost confidence in his leadership.

The Association is hereby calling on all well meaning Nigerian who either have a stake in the creative industry or lovers of the creative industry to join forces with the Association in calling for the removal of Mr. Ezekude to pave way for the growth of the regulatory agency and thereby guaranteeing better protection of the copyright industry in Nigeria.
For and behalf of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) Unit.

_________________________                      ________________________
COM. IHUMA OKWU MOSES                         COM. KUNLE OLATUNJI
Unit Chairman                                                     Unit Secretary















Thursday, 3 May 2018

COSON LAWYERS FORCEFULLY CHALLENGE NCC DIRECTIVES AT THE COURT OF APPEAL





PUBLIC STATEMENT

COSON LAWYERS FORCEFULLY CHALLENGE NCC DIRECTIVES AT THE COURT OF APPEAL

Lawyers to Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) have swiftly filed a new process at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division challenging the content of the letters from the Nigerian Copyright Commission purportedly suspending the copyright licensing activities of the society.

The Alliance Law Firm headed by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Uche Val Obi filed the process within 24 hours of the receipt of the letters from the NCC. COSON has urged the Court of Appeal to make suspensory or dispositive mandatory orders against the NCC’s directives, pending the determination of the pending appeal.

In a letter dated May 3, 2018 to the NCC Director-General, Mr. Afam Ezekude, the COSON lawyers stated that the development at the Court of Appeal lawfully apprehends the NCC directives suspending the licence of COSCON to operate as a royalty collecting organization.

The full text of the letter to Mr. Ezekude reads as follows;

We remain counsel to Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and continue to act on its instructions. The captioned letters, emanating from your offices have been passed over to us by COSON, with instructions to respond to the same as permitted by law.

Recall that in our letter dated 16th April, 2018 and sent to you, via email, ezekude@aol.com, on 19th April, 2018 and the hard copy received in your office on the 25th April, 2018, you were reminded of the pending Motion on notice for injunction pending the determination of Appeal at the Court of Appeal, seeking a number of injunctive reliefs against your Commission, particularly, the prayer seeking to restrain your Commission from acting in a manner that could embarrass the Court of Appeal, alter the res, or otherwise overreaching and advising you against acting in any manner that is capable of foisting a situation of complete helplessness and fiat accompli on the Court of Appeal, prior to the hearing and determination of that Motion.

We are shocked to read that in spite of our guided advice, you led your Commission to act with gross impunity against the Court of Appeal, when, according to your captioned letters, you purportedly, on the advice of the Attorney General of the Federation of Nigeria, suspended the operating licence of COSON, while the Motion for Injunction, restraining your Commission from embarking on the same act is still pending at the Court of Appeal. Could it be that the authorities of Ojukwu V. Governor of Lagos State, as well as Iwuji V. Governor of Imo State, recommended to you in our said letter of 16th April, 2018 were of no consequence to you? Your act is even more worrisome when you attributed the impetus to so act to the approval of the Chief Law Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation (HAGF), who is the Constitutional custodian of rule of law in Nigeria. We wonder if you had indeed placed the full facts of this matter before the HAGF in the first instance as it is doubtful that he would have advised or supported your aforesaid acts and directives, given the circumstances.

It might interest you to recall that the reign of executive lawlessness and disregard for the rule of law has since been consigned to our ugly past as a nation and we consider it a reminder of that ugly and unfortunate past for any agency of government to invoke or perpetrate any act, like your present act, which has a semblance of that forbidden ugly past.

We have, on behalf of COSON, a law abiding citizen, therefore filed another process at the Court of Appeal, challenging the content of the two letters captioned above and urging that Court to make suspensory or dispositive mandatory orders against your Commission’s directives against COSON, pending the determination of the pending appeal. This development therefore lawfully apprehends your  directives suspending the licence of COSON as a royalty collecting organization and stopping it from operating  its bank accounts as a going concern, amongst others.

It remains to remind you that it is an established principle of law that a citizen lawfully challenging an act or directive of an institution against it in a court of law in exercise of its constitutional rights cannot be expected to comply or obey directives, issued in the course of a pending proceeding and while a motion specifically seeking to restrain such directives is pending. Consequently, COSON has been legally advised that it is not bound in law to give effect to your directives but to await the decisions of the Court of Appeal on the pending applications for mandatory and interlocutory injunctions pending before it in relation to your acts, pronouncements, order and directives, as to do otherwise would be to sacrifice its constitutional rights on the alter of your directives, acts, and orders which constitute an affront  and disrespect to the honourable Court of Appeal now seized with the subject matter, more so, as the appeal has already been entered.

Having stated the above, it is our candid suggestion that a high level meeting of representatives of concerned parties to the matter be held as early as possible to explore an amicable resolution of the issues relating to this subject matter in the interest of all stakeholders. If this is acceptable, kindly let us know how early we can have a kick off meeting.

Please be guided accordingly.


Yours Faithfully,
Alliance Law Firm




Isaac U. Obi, FIMC                                                                    Fred Obiejesi
Partner                                                                                              Senior Associate


Cc:      Hon. Attorney General & Minister For Justice
            Ministry of Justice
            Abuja

Cc:      Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON)
            COSON House
            41, Oluwaleimu Street,
            Off Allen Avenue
            Ikeja, Lagos

Cc:      Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
            No. 5, Fomella Street
            Off Adetokumbo Ademola Crescent
            Wuse II, Abuja


Thursday, 26 April 2018

PRESS STATEMENT ON WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DAY, OKOROJI CALLS FOR A NEW NIGERIA DRIVEN BY CREATIVITY AND KNOWLEDGE





PRESS STATEMENT
ON WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DAY, OKOROJI CALLS FOR A NEW NIGERIA DRIVEN BY CREATIVITY AND KNOWLEDGE

Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Africa’s fastest growing copyright collective management organization, has in a public statement to mark the World Intellectual Property Day, 2018, called for a new Nigeria driven by creativity and knowledge.

In his statement, Chief Okoroji who is one of Africa’s most acclaimed intellectual property activists, said, “Everywhere you go, the ingenuity of the Nigerian people is on display. Our music, movies, literature, fashion, programming and similar products of the creative endeavour are in substantial demand across the world. In the creative industry, Nigeria has significant comparative advantage. We only need a spark to light the fire. It is our belief that If we properly manage this gift the Almighty has given to us, the result will confound the world.

According to Okoroji, ‘‘As we mark ‘‘World Intellectual Property Day” with the theme ‘‘Powering Change: Women in innovation and creativity’’, we once again ask for a new Nigeria in which the people of wealth and influence are no longer those who have brazenly stolen the people’s patrimony.

“We ask for a Nigeria driven by knowledge and creativity. We demand a nation where a creative songwriter can depend on his creativity and live well; a good performer does not have to worry about how to feed his family; a talented filmmaker or actor will not be burdened by where his next rent will come from; a gifted author can become a millionaire and does not have to sweat at the thought of his children’s school fees and a fashion designer with unique talent can be celebrated for his or her creativity. We ask for a Nigeria in which a great photographer can be a man of means; an architect does not also have to be a builder to earn commensurate income from his talent; an inventor can live off his invention and a creator of content can thrive from the deployment of his content.

“We earnestly ask for a Nigeria in which a lecturer is no longer ashamed to say that he teaches for a living. In other words, we demand a nation in which knowledge and creativity are celebrated.

The former President of PMAN who has recently led demonstrations against institutions and officials of the Federal Government over legal issues bordering on intellectual property, has requested the government to stop hounding those who have committed their lives to the upholding of the laws that further the environment for the growth of intellectual property in Nigeria and to see people like him as patriots and not subversives

According to Chief Okoroji, the author of Copyright & the New Millionaires, “We request that the energy that has been deployed by officials of the government to subvert and destabilize COSON which despite all odds has been a major Nigerian success story and an example of what is possible in our country, should be deployed in ensuring that other institutions in other areas of intellectual property are improved and strengthened for the good of our nation”.

He gave kudos to Nigerian women in the creative industry whom he said continue to succeed regardless of a very unsupportive environment. Chief Okoroji said that in recognition of the strides made by Nigerian women in the creative industry, COSON recently put three Nigerian women on its board instead of the lone woman that used to be on the board. He said that it is in the same way that of the six heads of departments at COSON, three are women.



Wednesday, 21 March 2018

MUSIC INDUSTRY ICON, CHRIS AJILO, CALLS ON FG TO AWARD COSON CHAIRMAN, CHIEF TONY OKOROJI, ONE OF NIGERIA’S HIGHEST HONOURS


MUSIC INDUSTRY ICON, CHRIS AJILO, CALLS ON FG TO AWARD COSON CHAIRMAN, CHIEF TONY OKOROJI, ONE OF NIGERIA’S HIGHEST HONOURS
88 years old Chris Ajilo, one of the oldest living professional musicians in Nigeria and a pioneer musicologist, has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to award COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, one of the nation’s most significant honours for his exemplary service to Nigeria.
Pa Chris Ajilo, as he is fondly called, was General Manager of Performing & Mechanical Rights Society (PMRS), one of the key organisations that provided the platform for the formation of COSON. In a public statement he just issued, he said that he is aware of the huge sacrifice and self-denial it takes to build a successful organization with no government funds especially in the very unstable creative industry in Nigeria.
According to Ajilo, “For several decades I have watched Chief Tony Okoroji commit himself totally to the promotion and defence of the rights of musicians and other creative people in Nigeria with unequalled personal sacrifice and results that are very visible to everyone. Those of us in the music industry cannot be thankless people. Rather than persecute him, every well-meaning stakeholder in the music industry should join me in calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria to award Chief Tony Okoroji one of the nation’s most significant honours for his exemplary service to our country”.
In his statement, Pa Ajilo wrote, “By December 26, 2018, I will be 89 years old. I am one of the oldest living professional musicians in Nigeria and a pioneer musicologist. I worked for several years at Polygram as staff producer and thereafter consulted for Polygram and Premier Records Limited before assuming the role of pioneer General Manager of PMRS, a job I did for over two years without any pay. What I have learnt is that to successfully build an organization like PMAN, PMRS or COSON in which large numbers of creative people are brought together, you have to have the calling for what is essentially a thankless job.
“In November 2017, I travelled to Lagos from my home town, Ijebu Jesha, in Osun State. At Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos, I was honoured with a special award in a spectacular ceremony of the COSON Song Awards very professionally coordinated and produced by Chief Tony Okoroji and the COSON Management which made my trip to Lagos possible. Before that, I was present at the opening of the very beautiful COSON House, a magnificent structure belonging to the musicians of Nigeria built without borrowing a kobo by the unique leadership of Chief Okoroji.
“You can imagine my anger when last December, a few weeks after my return from Lagos, I learnt that one Efe Omorogbe had schemed with some others to kick out Chief Okoroji as Chairman of COSON and that Omorogbe was parading himself as Chairman of COSON and coordinating a broad media campaign to tarnish Chief Okoroji’s good name. This is a repeat of the PMAN experience”.
In conclusion of his public statement, Chris Ajilo, composer of the iconic song, ‘Eko Gbagbere’ used to celebrate Lagos, wrote, “I wish to place on record the fact that I condemn in no uncertain terms the attempt to foist Efe Omorogbe on COSON as Chairman. I commend the members of COSON who met in Lagos on December 19, 2017 for doing the right thing and restoring Chief Tony Okoroji as Chairman of COSON. I consider it an insult for anyone to seek to impose a leader on COSON. I call on the Nigerian Copyright Commission to draw a line between regulating the collective management activities of COSON and the attempt to control the internal affairs of the society which is not an appendage of the NCC. Led by the same Chief Okoroji, we fought for the setting up of the NCC to serve our industry and not to be lord and master over us. If they so badly want a job for Mr. Omorogbe, let them find him employment at the NCC”.

Watch EKO - by Chris Ajilo ft Banky W and Korede Sax

Thursday, 8 March 2018

MORE LEGAL WAHALA FOR EFE OMOROGBE AS COSON CHAIRMAN, OKOROJI, SLAMS N212 MILLION LIBEL SUIT AGAINST HIM.


COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji
MORE LEGAL WAHALA FOR EFE OMOROGBE AS COSON CHAIRMAN, OKOROJI, SLAMS N212 MILLION LIBEL SUIT AGAINST HIM.

True to an earlier statement issued on his behalf, Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji has filed a suit at the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja asking for the sum of Two Hundred and Twelve Million Naira for libel against embattled former member of the COSON Board, Mr. Efe Omorogbe.

The suit supported by a 29 paragraph Statement of Claim, several exhibits and witnesses was filed on behalf of Chief Okoroji by Tochukwu Tagbo and Christian Eneje of the Lagos law firm of Commercial Practice Solicitors

In the Statement of Claim, Chief Okoroji pleaded that on January 16, 2018, Mr Omorogbe organised a major press conference at Protea Hotel, Isaac John Street, GRA, Ikeja, which was attended by numerous representatives of the press, widely reported in newspapers and magazines across the country, viewed by millions of people on television and on the internet across the world and that at the conference, Mr. Omorogbe made several defamatory statements against him.

Chief Okoroji also pleaded that Mr Omorogbe caused to be published in City People Magazine dated 31st January 2018, further words defamatory of him and that indeed, Omorogbe further caused to be published in Vanguard Newspaper dated 20th January 2018 other words and statements defamatory of him and that Mr. Omorogbe took active steps to ensure that his devastating words against the Claimant (Chief Okoroji) were widely published, broadcast, posted on several websites on the internet and republished in the press with the intention of doing the most horrendous damage to Chief Okoroji’s good name, character and reputation.

Chief Okoroji also pleaded in the Statement of Claim that in widely publishing the words and statements complained of in the suit, Mr. Omorogbe was actuated by blatant malice as he knew very well that his words and statements are patently false as Omorogbe very well knows that the Claimant is a man of impeccable character and honour and an outstanding Nigerian and that Omorogbe in publishing and/or causing to be published the sordid and reckless words was motivated by the naked desire to destroy the Claimant and usurp the Claimant’s position.

Apart from the damages and cost asked for, Chief Okoroji has also asked for an injunction restraining Efe Omorogbe, his servants or agents or otherwise, from further publishing or broadcasting, or causing to be published or broadcast, the said words or any words similarly defamatory of Chief Okoroji

The suit filed by Chief Okoroji is different from the court action filed by COSON against Mr. Omorogbe.

EFE OMOROGBE HUMILIATED AGAIN AS COSON HEAD OF FINANCE REFUSES HIS ‘GREEK GIFT’



EFE OMOROGBE HUMILIATED AGAIN AS COSON HEAD OF FINANCE REFUSES HIS ‘GREEK GIFT’ 

Efe Omorogbe, the very embattled former member of the Board of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) who was recently locked out of COSON House has just received another huge embarrassment as the COSON Head of Finance & Administration, Ms Bernice Eriemeghe has immediately turned her back at Efe Omorogbe’s desperate directive to Ms Eriemeghe to take over from Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji as General Manager of COSON.

In response to Mr Efe Omorogbe’s directive, Ms Eriemeghe issued the following statement: 

“THANK YOU MR OMOROGBE BUT NO TO YOUR GREEK GIFT

“I have been informed that Mr. Efe Omorogbe and his group have asked me to take over as Acting General Manager of COSON.

“I am a woman of honour and I hereby say ‘No’ to what I consider a Greek gift and a scheme that will result in divide and rule. My colleagues and I in the Management of COSON jointly signed a letter sent to the NCC in which we emphasized our position and informed them that issuing opaque directives to COSON which they know cannot be obeyed will result in chaos in the organization. We have also warned of our massive resignation should they continue to meddle in the internal affairs of the organization which we are capable of resolving. I have no intention of betraying my colleagues.

“Furthermore, I was present at the COSON Extra- Ordinary General Meeting held in COSON Arena on December 19, 2017 when the members of COSON from every part of Nigeria spoke loudly and clearly in one voice that Chief Tony Okoroji should remain as the Chairman among other issues. Please let us all respect the collective will of the majority of the members of COSON that we are all accountable to and represent their interest.

“Mr. Efe Omorogbe is a very good friend of mine but the interest and desires of the members of COSON is most paramount at this point. It is a statement of fact that the members of COSON do not want Mr. Omorogbe as their Chairman at this time. That is clear to me. Anyone trying to force him on the members of COSON does not mean well for COSON as this clearly is capable of destroying the organization.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I will continue to support Mr. Chinedu Angus Chukwuji as General Manager of COSON and Chief Tony Okoroji as Chairman.

“Thank you.
“BERNICE ERIEMEGHE
Head of Finance & Administration”

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

COSON SUES EFE OMOROGBE: ASKS THAT HE STOPS PARADING HIMSELF AS AN OFFICER OF COSON OR CHAIRMAN




COSON SUES EFE OMOROGBE: ASKS THAT HE STOPS PARADING HIMSELF AS AN OFFICER OF COSON OR CHAIRMAN

Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has gone to court against a former member of its Board, Mr. Efe Omorogbe.

In the suit No ID/4827/GCMW18 filed on behalf of COSON by Mr. James Ononiwu of Whitedove Solicitors, the society has asked for an injunction restraining Mr. Efe Omorogbe from parading himself as Chairman of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON).

COSON has also requested from the court an injunction restraining Mr. Omorogbe whether by himself, servant, privy or agent from calling or convening any meeting by whatever name, be it board meeting, general meeting, etc, at any location whether in Lagos or anywhere in the country or outside the country in the name of Copyright Society of Nigeria.

The action which has COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji as joint claimant is supported by a 16 paragraph sworn statement deposed to by the General Manager of COSON, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji.

Commenting on the development, Afro Juju superstar and COSON Board member, Sir Shina Peters said, “there is no well-meaning person in the Nigerian creative community who is not proud of COSON, an organization that has been managed with the level of professionalism and sophistication previously thought impossible in Nigeria.
Sir Shina Peters
“The quality of leadership provided to COSON by our Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, has resulted in phenomenal growth in the society. It is sad that those who were too busy to dedicate their time to COSON suddenly have a lot of time for the organization. They want to hijack COSON, suck it dry and kill it the same way PMAN was killed after Okoroji had built PMAN into a big national institution.

“The members of COSON across Nigeria, the Board, our management, consultants, reciprocal representation partners across the world and very many young Nigerians are united and resolute that what happened to PMAN will not happen to COSON. COSON is a legacy we will bestow on the next generation of Nigerian artistes. We are 100% in support of Chief Tony Okoroji, an uncommon Nigerian who has dedicated an entire life time to ensure respect for the Nigerian creative community. We trust him. Can’t everybody see that the more they try to destroy Okoroji, the more his profile grows? I want to assure everyone that despite the concerted attack on COSON from well-known quarters, COSON continues to work and work very well. I remain very proud of COSON”