Stalled judgment: COSON vows to continue nationwide protest

The Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has vowed to continue protesting alleged plans to transfer a suit it filed against the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria (MCSN) to a new judge.

It urged the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati, to resolve the issue or resign.

COSON made the demand on Wednesday through its chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, at a press briefing in Lagos.

Artistes including Ras Kimono, Sir Shina Peters, Kenny Saint Best and King Wadada were some of the organanisation’s members at the event.

COSON has, since January 15, 2018, been protesting at different Federal High Court locations across Nigeria

This followed a suit it filed last year at the Federal High Court, Lagos seeking a declaration that MCSN is an illegal entity with no right to collect royalties on behalf of musicians in Nigeria.

The case, marked FHC/L/CS/1259/2017, was assigned to Justice Ibrahim Buba, who began hearing.

According to COSON, Justice Buba concluded hearing but on the date fixed for judgment, he informed the parties that the case file had been withdrawn from his court.

COSON said it would protest until the “Federal High Court of Nigeria is left free to do justice to all men as the judges deem fit.”

Okoroji described the withdrawal of the case file as dangerous interference in the judicial process.

He said it was “…a frightening new assault on the Nigerian Judiciary and an attempt to turn the Nigeria music industry into a gold mine belonging to no one, from where those who have made no investments nor contributions to the industry can cart away illicit billions of Naira while the true creators and investors in the industry languish in penury.”

The organisation also accused Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN of meddling in the affairs of the Nigerian music industry and urged President Muhammadu Buhari “to call him to order.”

Okoroji added: “We will continue this indefinite protest until the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) is returned to the supervision of the Minister charged with responsibility for culture as expressly provided in Section 51 of the Nigerian Copyright Act.”

One of the highlights of the event was the live presentation by Reggae Star, King Wadada of his new song titled ‘Minister of Injustice’ in protest of Malami’s alleged ‘undue’ interference in the music industry.

source: Thenation

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