By Chux Odoh
The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has filed a criminal charge against a faction of Copyright Society of Nigeria, led by Chief Tony Okoroji for allegedly performing the duties of a collecting Society by demanding and collecting royalties without the approval of the commission.
In the charge with No FHC/L/338C/18, filed on October 8 2018, at the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, the accused persons which includes Chief Tony Okoroji, Mr Chinedu Chukwuji, Mrs Bernice Eremieghe, and Miss Anne Okomi were alleged to have performed the duties of a collecting Society by demanding and collecting royalties from Noah’s Ark of g Sowemimo Street, GRA, Ikeja Lagos.
According to a statement by the NCC, the accused persons where dragged to court for ‘engaging in the business of negotiating and granting licenses on behalf of Copyright owners without the approval of the Commission and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under sections 39 (4) (5) and (6) of the Copyright ACI Cap C 28 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’
The NCC had earlier in April 30th, 2018, suspended the licence it granted COSON in pursuant to relevant provisions of the Copyright Act and the Copyright (Collective Management Organisation) Regulation zoo7, following the refusal of COSON management to abide by the directive of NCC as it was carrying out investigations into the long crisis in the governing board of COSON with two factions, each claiming to be the authentic board of the commission.
The Tony Okoroji faction has been in a leadership tussle with another faction led by Mr Efe Omorogbe.
See copy of the Charge Sheet below: