Says Probe of Okoroji continues
Admin l Friday, December 10, 2021
LAGOS, Nigeria – Concerned Stakeholders in the Copyright Society of Nigeria(COSON) has called on right owners and users to desist from dealing with the body following the ruling by Justice Mohammed Liman of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos that COSON’s operating license has expired.
A statement signed by Efe Omorogbe, Manager of Innocent Idibia for Concerned Stakeholders called on musicians and others to desist from using COSON.
“Now that the court has established that COSON does not have a valid operating licence, we reiterate our call for users to desist from engaging with COSON or paying licensing fees to it”, he said, adding that the demand for an independent audit into the account and operations of COSON under the chairmanship of Tony Okoroji continues.
“The probe must be done and anyone indicted must face the full wrath of the law”, he said, adding that hundreds of millions of naira collected on behalf of genuine rights holders must be accounted for.
“ The Nigeria Copyright Commission owes the rights holders the sacred duty of government protection. Anything short of firm and comprehensive action would be setting a dangerous precedence and completely eroding the authority and relevance of the commission”, he said.
According to him, the ruling of December 1, 2021 on Suit No. FHC/L/CS/425/2020, COSON vs NCC by the Honourable Justice Liman against COSON’s attempt to restrain the commission “from taking any step to revoke its Operating Licence/Approval or disturbing or preventing them from enforcing their rights including interfering with their internal management, operations and funds” is a victory for hundreds of concerned rights holders.
“The desperate attempt by the illegitimate board and complicit management of COSON to dodge accountability was doomed to fail from the beginning.
“We had hoped for a quicker resolution of the crisis to arrest the descent of the once vibrant CMO into a rogue organisation, one insistent on operating outside the ambit of regulatory authority but it is however better late than never.
“This ruling is vindication for all concerned directors, members and stakeholders who have remained resolute in the demand for accountability during the course of the four long years it has taken for us to get here”, he said.
According to him, those who have sort to exploit the slow pace of the judicial system, compromised law enforcement officers, media apologists and the ignorant and subservient mob of “ghost” right holders to shield themselves from accountability must realise that the game is up.