Wednesday, 21 March 2018
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, 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.
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
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”
Tuesday, 27 February 2018
2018 COSON ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING TO HOLD MAY 10 AT LAGOS SHERATON IKEJA
The 2018 Annual General Meeting of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) will hold on May 10, 2018 at Lagos Sheraton Hotel Ikeja.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the full Board of the society which held at COSON House, Ikeja on February 26, 2018.
At the AGM, elections to all vacant positions on the Board will be held and the report of the auditors to the society will be considered.
The Board meeting also resolved to pursue with every diligence the setting aside at the Court of Appeal of the judgment delivered by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court on February 13 in the case brought by COSON against MCSN, the AGF and NCC. According to the Board, except overturned, the judgment will destroy the collective management of copyright in Nigeria and put many commercial users of musical content at enormous risk.
The Board also approved Management’s request for new sophisticated software to speed up specific distribution of royalties to members and affiliates of the society.
Present at the Board meeting presided over by Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman of COSON, were Board members, Sir Shina Peters, Ras Kimono, Hon John Udegbunam, Kenny Saint Brown, Azeezat Allen, Engr Sharon Esco Wilson, Maureen Ejezie, Richard Cole and Uche Emeka Paul. Also present were Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji, the society’s General Manager and Ms Bernice Eriemeghe, the society’s Head of Finance & Administration.
Monday, 26 February 2018
I read with utmost disgust your recent letter to COSON widely published on the Internet in which you attempted to give instructions to COSON, an independent private sector organization, as if COSON is a department under your Commission.
For the avoidance of doubt, I presided over the meeting of the members of COSON held in Lagos on December 19, 2017 at which meeting; COSON members, all over Nigeria freely and unanimously in one voice, restored Chief Tony Okoroji as Chairman of our Society. It was clear to me that every well-meaning member of COSON who attended the meeting was angered by the decision of the purported removal of Chief Okoroji by six members of the Society on December 7, 2017. The removal of Okoroji was an attempt to hijack COSON at a critical period in its history and destroy our fledging organization, the same way PMAN was destroyed.
Absolutely, the interest of these six individuals cannot override that of the thousands of COSON members, affiliates and foreign reciprocal partners who are overwhelmingly impressed and satisfied with the incredible personal sacrifice and leadership of Chief Tony Okoroji who has built COSON and made it a model and a source of pride to the creative community in Nigeria.
Just for the records, I am PROF. SIR VICTOR UWAIFO JP, MON. I am 76 years old. I am a musician, well known all over the world, a composer with a rich repertoire of musical works and sound recordings, an intellectual, a professor of Fine and Applied Arts, a key founding member of COSON and a subscriber to the COSON Memorandum & Articles of Association. I have served on the Board of COSON, been involved with the progress made by COSON in the last 7years under the inspirational leadership and energy of an uncommon Nigerian and with your invisible presence as Director-General of the NCC. I have also held several distinguished political appointments.
If I wanted to be sectional or parochial, I would have thrown my weight behind Mr. Efe Omorogbe who is from my State and with whom I have an ongoing close professional relationship. At my age, if I had done that, I would have done a disservice to generations of Nigerian musicians and investors in the music industry and my conscience would not be at rest.
Despite my close relationship with Efe Omorogbe, he is not the choice of COSON members at this time and no one in Abuja or elsewhere can change that.
I have read the letter written to you by the Attorney General of the Federation & Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami ordering you to approve another CMO in the same class of works administered by COSON so as to create commotion within our industry and wipe out the most successful organization in the history of the Nigerian Creative Industry.
Anybody reading the letter from the AGF can immediately see that you know that the order given to you is both unlawful and ultra vires. You however did not have the courage to refuse to carry out this unlawful order. The commotion caused by your action has set in what appears to be a conspiracy to get rid of Chief Tony Okoroji, the one man you all know has the knowledge, experience, personal conviction and courage to resist the seeming plan to shake down users of music content across Nigeria in billions of Naira and set our industry back.
Your letter dated February 19, 2018 addressed to the General Manager of COSON, REF: NCC/DG/132/1/66 which went virile on the social media even before it got to the recipient is a clear testimony of bad faith on your part in the handling of the affairs of COSON. Since your letter to COSON was widely published to inflict the greatest injury, I have no choice but to ensure that this letter is also widely published in the internet to set the records straight.
As a Commission, one would have expected that you will be more concerned over the other moribund Collecting Societies that were approved several years ago by the commission with nothing to show and the biting piracy militating against the creative industry rather than meddling and destabilizing COSON which is being run professionally and which has the requisite capacity to deal with its internal issues.
I do not know how much you are aware of the history of the Nigerian Copyright Commission which you now head and from which you are issuing orders as if you are God Almighty. It was the same Chief Tony Okoroji that galvanized the entire nation with unsurpassed advocacy and massive demonstrations in Nigeria that forced the government to promulgate the copyright law. The young man risked his life for this. He could have been killed by the military government at that time. He participated in drafting the Copyright law with the help of others like Prof. Egerton Ovieghara who became the first Chairman of the NCC. Chief Okoroji’s successful agitation culminated in the setting up of the NCC.
It follows that everyone employed by the NCC including yourself and the many thousands who today benefit from the copyright system in our nation owe this unique Nigerian a debt of gratitude. Sadly, there appears to be concerted effort to destroy his good name and character to achieve a perfidious objective.
It is important to reemphasize that you stay away and refuse to be used anymore as a tool in any action that can lead to the instability and possible disintegration of COSON, Nigeria’s most successful organization in the creative industry ever. Please avoid any friction between the members of COSON and the leadership of your Commission which will serve no good.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Chairman of COSON freely chosen by the members of COSON is Chief Tony Okoroji. We have tried him and found him worthy of our trust.
A word is enough for the wise!
PROF. (SIR) VICTOR UWAIFO JP, MON
CC: President Mohammadu Buhari GCFR
President of Nigeria
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN)
Vice President of Nigeria
Senator Bukola Saraki
President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria
Hon. Justice Walter S.N. Onnoghen
Chief Justice of Nigeria
Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara
Speaker, House of Representatives
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Hon. Minister of Information & Culture
Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama
Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs
Your Excellencies, the above is for your information and necessary actions, please.
PROF. (SIR) VICTOR UWAIFO JP, MON