Okoroji protests against AGF at Lagos court

Tony Okoroji

The Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji, yesterday began an indefinite one-man demonstration in front of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Okoroji said his action has become necessary to draw the attention of the world to a new and dangerous attempt to destroy the Nigerian judicial system by the blackmail of a Nigerian judge to force him not to deliver a judgment written by him.

The former president of PMAN, who is well respected for his depth of knowledge in intellectual property issues across the continent, arrived the court as early as 8: 00am for the protest, which he said would continue till necessary action is taken on the matter.

Okoroji is asking all lawyers and judges in the Nigerian legal system to insist that the case file in Suit No FHC/L/CS/1259/2017, which he alleged was taken away in bizarre circumstances from Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, just as he was about to deliver judgment in the suit, be returned to the judge so that he can deliver his judgment and any of the parties dissatisfied with the judgment can proceed to the Court of Appeal.

According to Chief Okoroji, “the key question Justice Buba was scheduled to answer in his judgment is this: Under Nigerian law, is the syndicate known as Musical Copyright Society Nigeria (MCSN) truly an approved collecting society and authorised to collect money on behalf of innocent Nigerian musicians? Some people desperately do not want that question answered hence the muscling of Justice Ibrahim Buba and the failed machinations to remove Okoroji himself as Chairman of COSON.”

SON General Assembly met in Lagos and condemned in very strong terms what it termed the brazen actions of the Attorney-General of the Federation & Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami in ordering the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), despite the Commission’s strong protestations, to blatantly go against Nigerian law and approve the MCSN syndicate to collect copyright royalties on behalf of innocent Nigerian musicians.

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