The last has not been heard in the case between Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and the National Copyright Commission (NCC), as Mr. Nnaekpe, the lawyer to Sir Victor Uwaifo, Sir Angus Nwangwu and Mr. Tony Nwaenyi, the trio representing members of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), has threatened to begin contempt proceedings against Mr. Afam Ezekude, the director-general of the Nigerian Copyright NCC for allegedly issuing a statement insisting that the licence it granted COSON years ago, is now suspended even after a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has declared the suspension null and void.
Mr. Nnaekpe also warned that users of CONSON’S works without appropriate licence from COSON should be ready to face the consequences of such illegal usage.
“Nothing can be further from the truth and any public or commercial user of musical works or sound recordings in the repertoire of COSON, who fails to obtain an appropriate COSON licence before such use, would have himself to blame,” Nnaekpe continued, “I was in court when the Hon Justice HIO Oshomah of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, on September 5, made the order upon the application of my clients, Sir Victor Uwaifo and other members of COSON. I argued the application. COSON remains Nigeria’s most esteemed institution in the creative industry which is widely respected around the world with 100% integrity. I have a copy of the order of Justice Oshomah.
“I can understand the frustration of Mr. Ezekude, who in my opinion has made desperate efforts to destroy COSON, an organization that is a key source of pride to true musicians in Nigeria. I can understand his frustration that despite his worst efforts, COSON continues to wax stronger and musicians across Nigeria remain proud of their organization. What I cannot understand is how Mr. Ezekude who I have been told is a lawyer can issue such a reckless and misleading statement without any iota of evidence to support his position and without appropriate investigation.
“The time has come to warn everybody who occupies a public office in Nigeria that the days of impunity are gone and that the rule of law must be respected by everyone. On behalf of my clients, I am requesting Mr. Ezekude to publicly and immediately withdraw his misleading statement. If he does not, we might be compelled to begin contempt proceedings against him and request the court to send him to prison”