APOSTLE ANSELEM MADUBUKO HOSTS MUSIC STARS AT REVIVAL ASSEMBLY DECEMBER 1 AT AN EXPLOSIVE “COSON IN THE CHURCH”

Nigeria’s most admired gospel music stars, their colleagues and thousands of fans are headed for the beautiful Revival Assembly in Ikeja which will be lit up in style on Sunday December 1, 2019 as the biennial red carpet national day of music, prayer and supplication to the Almighty tagged “COSON in the Church” holds. The nightingales will be joined by Nigeria’s most respected ministers of the gospel in the unprecedented show that will be streamed live on the Internet to all corners of the globe.

Gospel Music star, Kenny St Best (KSB) is coordinating the bevy of talents that will be on stage at the 2019 COSON in the Church. Master of Impressions, Koffi Tha Guru, will coordinate the masters of ceremonies and sleek comedians who will bring laughter to the House of God at the 2019 COSON in the Church. Both KSB and Koffi are key members of the Board of COSON, the fastest growing and most respected copyright collective management organization in the continent of Africa.

Host Pastor at Revival Assembly, Apostle Anselem Madubuko, a great supporter of the music industry, will host the event and co-ordinate the various ministers of the gospel from diverse denominations who will pray for the Nigerian nation and its people at the 2019 COSON in the Church.

Talking about the 2019 COSON in the Church, Chief Tony Okoroji, event producer extra-ordinaire and Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) said, “I believe that Nigerian entertainers from every tribe have fallen in love with the concept of “COSON in the Church” which we hold every two years. I expect our brethren to storm Revival Assembly on December 1, hold hands, pray and sing together at this special edition of COSON in the Church. This is a unique period for Nigeria and the Nigerian music family. It is important that we beckon on the Almighty to continue to shower His blessings on us. We certainly need to thank Him for not letting stability depart from us as we continue to heal the wounds that recently threatened the unity of the music family and almost drove us to disintegration”.

It will be recalled that two Federal Ministers and representatives of several state Governors were part of the awesome congregation at the last and memorable COSON in the Church which took place at Trinity House in Victoria Island, Lagos.

Said Chief Okoroji, “On the day of COSON in the Church, Nigerians can sing with us and pray to the Almighty as one and show the world that despite our challenges, we will move ahead and build a nation where every child has the promise of a future. We will be beaming this non-denominational event live so that people everywhere can join us in prayers and in songs in praise of the Almighty”.

BREAKING NEWS!!! COSON SLAMS 2 BILLION NAIRA COURT ACTION AGAINST ACCESS BANK FOR UNLAWFUL SEIZURE OF FUNDS

 

Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), one of Africa’s foremost copyright collective management organizations for musical works and sound recordings, has filed an action at the Federal High Court Lagos against Access Bank PLC claiming the sum of two billion naira for the unlawful freezing of the accounts of the society.

The suit No FHC/L/CS/1777/2019 which was filed this Tuesday, October 8 by Mr. James Ononiwu of the top Lagos law firm of Whitedove Solicitors is accompanied by a 40 paragraph Statement of Claim and 18 exhibits.

In the suit, COSON is asking for a declaration that the freezing of its accounts with Access Bank without any court order whatsoever is illegal, unlawful, null and void.

The organization which pays royalties to musicians across the country has also asked the Federal High Court for an order directing Access Bank to immediately unfreeze the Plaintiff’s accounts with the bank, frozen without any court order whatsoever and release all restrictions placed on the Plaintiff from running its accounts.

Beyond the unfreezing of its accounts, COSON is claiming a total of two billion naira as general and special damages as well as damages for the loss of reputation and goodwill arising from the deception of the Defendant and an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendant or the agents, privies or servants of the Defendant from further freezing the accounts of the Plaintiff or placing any restrictions on the accounts of the Plaintiff without a valid court order;

In its statement of claim, COSON stated that it has never borrowed money from Access Bank neither has it ever overdrawn from its account with the Bank and that as a result of the continued freezing of its accounts by Access Bank without any court order whatsoever, royalties due to the members and affiliates of COSON have been significantly unpaid causing tremendous consternation and instability within the Plaintiff.

The copyright organization said that it verily believes that if the Court does not intervene to put a stop to the vicious behavior of the bank to COSON, the bank will be emboldened to continue to be lawless and to seize the funds belonging to other of its customers without any court order whatsoever.

In the Statement of Claim, COSON also says that the behavior of Access Bank strongly demonstrates that the bank has special interest in withholding the funds of the Plaintiff and that the bank is acting a script to grind the Plaintiff to a halt as the bank has taken extraordinary steps to continue to withhold the funds of the Plaintiff, a customer of the bank which has trusted its funds to the Defendant and which customer has done nothing wrong to the bank.

In a related development, COSON lawyer, Mr. James Ononiwu who filed the suit, said, “I have said it several times that anyone, no matter who he is or what institution he represents, that lands one blow at COSON will receive five hot blows in return. The members of COSON are determined that no one will intimidate or crush this great Nigerian institution of creative people. They have told us to follow anyone who wishes to mess with COSON anywhere, to the Supreme Court and back. That is our brief and that is a brief we hold dear to our hearts. We join members of COSON across Nigeria in saying, ‘Let the music pay!’”

EFE OMOROGBE ORDERED TO PAY N200,000 COST AS FEDERAL HIGH COURT THROWS OUT HIS APPLICATION

It was not a good day at all for Efe O. Omorogbe of Nowmuzik at the Federal High Court, Enugu on Thursday September 26, 2019 as he was berated by Justice Ibrahim Buba and ordered to pay N200,000 cost for what the judge described as ‘forum shopping’ and ‘abuse of court process’.

Omorogbe had gone to the Federal High Court with an application for the court to strike out the suit filed by several members of COSON led by the highly respected Prof. (Sir) Victor Uwaifo asking for damages and injunction against Omorogbe for falsely parading himself as Chairman of COSON.

In July 2018, Justice A.M. Liman of the Federal High Court had ordered Efe Omorogbe to stop parading himself as Chairman of COSON. With the order still in force, Efe Omorogbe who had earlier lost an application to stop the suit, filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal in Enugu. Thereafter, he filed another application before Justice Buba at the Federal High Court, Enugu aiming to torpedo the entire action and quash the order against him. On September 26, Justice Buba vehemently disagreed with Mr. Omorogbe’s legal maneuvering and threw out his application and awarded N200,000 cost against him and in favour of the members of COSON.

In reaction to the decision of Justice Buba, Barrister Mike Nnaekpe who represented the members of COSON said that the judge was on point as his decision was in line with countless legal precedents. In his own reaction, Mr. James Ononiwu of the Lagos law firm of Whitedove Solicitors, lawyers to COSON, who was in Enugu for the proceedings said, “I have said it before that anyone, no matter who he is, who aims one blow at COSON will receive five hot blows in return. The members of COSON are determined that no one will intimidate or crush COSON. They have told us to follow anyone who wishes to mess with COSON anywhere, to the Supreme Court and back. That is our brief. Let the music pay!”.

Mr. Ononiwu in Enugu also reminded the members of COSON that Efe Omorogbe was still owing the sum of N200,OOO which a Lagos High Court Judge, Mrs. Josephine Oyefeso ordered Omorogbe to pay COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji for the defamation cases brought by Chief Okoroji against Omorogbe.

“COSON IS THE MOST AUDITED ORGANIZATION IN THE HISTORY OF NIGERIA’S CREATIVE INDUSTRY”

 

The following statement is issued by Ms. Bernice Eriemeghe, COSON Head of Finance & Administration.
I wish to state emphatically that the accounts of COSON have been audited every single year by the external auditors approved by COSON members at the society’s General Assembly. None of these accounts have been audited out of time. Without question, COSON remains the most audited, transparent and accountable organization in the history of the nation’s creative industry and certainly the most audited CMO in the nation’s copyright system.  As a leader of the finance team and a professional accountant, I am very proud of what we have done at COSON.
I have read with shock the rabid and wicked propaganda attempts on different social media platforms trying very hard to distort the records of COSON and present us as a corrupt organization. I have no doubt that the propaganda is coordinated by the same group that is determined to tarnish the image of the leadership of COSON.
Some people may recall that last year, this same group purported to have removed the COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji and asked me to take his position which I refused because it was obvious to me that they were not acting in good faith.
The fact is that neither the Chairman of COSON nor the Board has the authority to order a fresh audit after the General Assembly of the members, the highest decision making organ in COSON, has approved the audited accounts. It is only the COSON General Assembly that can reverse itself but to do so, it must have compelling reasons.
The fact is that those responsible for the propaganda do not attend the COSON Annual General Meetings, the forum in which they can place any issues bordering them before the General Assembly and ask for a vote. Some of the major coordinators of the propaganda are not even COSON members. The last COSON Annual General Meeting which was widely publicized was held at Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja on May 20, 2019. None of these persons attended the meeting which had COSON members from across the country.
It is important to state that if every group within COSON can wake up any day and ask for its own audit, without going through due process, there will be anarchy in the society because audits will never end.
I am not a member of COSON but an officer of the organization. I have however seen at close quarters the unbelievable work and sacrifice that it has taken to make COSON a most admired organization across our region. I am also aware of the pride that thousands of COSON members have in their organization.
Everyone knows that it is easier to destroy than to build. I therefore want to advise all those who are presently being deployed to destroy COSON to have a rethink.
I am very sure that if COSON was a failure, this agitation to control COSON would not have erupted.

COSON LAWYER WARNS EFE OMOROGBE ON HIS “CONTINUED AND UNRESTRAINED DEFAMATORY STATEMENTS, INNUENDOES & INCITEMENT AGAINST COSON & CHIEF TONY OKOROJI”

Barr James Ononiwu

Mr. James Ononiwu of The Whitedove Solicitors, lawyers to Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and the organization’s Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji has written a letter to Efe Omorogbe warning him of the consequences of his “reckless and unrestrained defamatory statements, actions, innuendoes and incitement of COSON members, institutions of government, COSON licensees and the general public” against COSON and Chief Tony Okoroji.

In the letter dated June 6, 2019 and copied to Hon. Justice Josephine Oyefeso of the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja and Hon Justice I. N. Buba of the Federal High Court, Enugu, Mr. Ononiwu wrote as follows:

“Our Clients have brought to our notice the fact that you have continued with the reckless and unrestrained defamatory statements, actions, innuendoes and incitement of COSON members, institutions of government, COSON licensees and the general public against our Clients. The latest include a recent video published by you on Instagram and statements published on various media platforms that you are inviting the EFCC to probe COSON.

“You have continued with your misguided actions despite the existence of Suit No. ID/ADR/796/2018 and Suit No. ID/ADR/932/2018 at the High Court of Lagos State in which you have joined issues. Your actions have gone ahead despite the subsisting order of the Federal High Court, Enugu against you in Suit No. FHC/EN/CS/58/2018. You could not have forgotten that you remain on trial in Charge No. A/29/2018 at the Lagos State Magistrate Court.

“We hereby remind you that almost four months after, you are yet to pay the costs awarded against you in favour of Chief Tony Okoroji by Honourable Justice Josephine Oyefeso of the High Court of Lagos State on February 13, 2019.
“With the effusion of time, you cannot be unaware that any claim you may have thought you had to the leadership of COSON has evaporated and disappeared and cannot be repaired. You therefore have no platform to purport to speak on behalf of COSON.

“It should be clear to any rational observer of your actions that as a result of your misadventure, you have developed deep hatred of our Clients and your hatred is such that you are prepared to take every step in your misguided attempt to destroy and demolish our Clients. We have been instructed by our Clients to remind you of the consequences and legal ramifications of the dangerous path you have decided to tow.

“We have also been instructed to inform you that in addition to the present legal actions against you, our Clients are prepared to take every necessary, further and lawful step to protect themselves and obtain full damages, injunctions and other reliefs against you for your unrestrained defamatory statements, actions, innuendoes and incitement of COSON members, institutions of government, COSON licensees and the general public against our Clients. At the end of the day, you will learn that Nigeria is a nation of laws and no one can act just as they please”.

Mr. Ononiwu concluded with the statement, “A word is enough for the wise”.

COSON HOUSE ROCKED BY RAS KIMONO MEMORIAL LECTURE!

Prof. Duro Oni

Monday, June 10, 2019 probably will never be forgotten at COSON House in Ikeja, the magnificent headquarters of Nigeria’s most successful organization in the creative arts, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON).

At exactly 12.30 pm, everything froze in the edifice and everyone stood still in silence. It was exactly at 12.30 pm on June 10, 2018 that the much beloved Nigerian reggae toaster and iconic musician, the Rub-a-Dub Master, Ras Kimono passed on.

Despite the morning rain, friends, colleagues, family members and a powerful media complement from far and near showed up at COSON House to attend the Ras Kimono Memorial Lecture, the first of the two big events organized on a day that henceforth will be known as Ras Kimono Memorial Day in celebration of the revolutionary musician who touched the consciousness of many.

The Ras Kimono Memorial Lecture was a serious event articulated in a very special way by Chief Tony Okoroji, Nigeria’s master of unforgettable events. Amidst lights and sounds, the event was entertaining, educative, informative and so intricately woven that everyone was gripped by its many colours and when it was over, there was a huge applause and people wanted more.

Prof Egerton Uvieghara, the nation’s Doyen of Labour and Intellectual Property law and the first Chairman of the NCC who chaired the lecture said that he was present to identify with a fellow Delta man and a remarkable Nigerian who left a glowing impression in the hearts of his countrymen.

The multi-media citation that brought to the podium the Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, Prof Duro Oni who until recently was a Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Lagos was so electrifying that the very widely travelled professor exclaimed that he had never seen anything like it.

In his lecture titled ‘Revolutionary Music for Equality & Justice’, Prof Oni said that throughout history, artistes and songwriters have used music to express their feelings for equality and justice in the society. In his words, “as far back as the trans-atlantic slave trade, the ‘spirituals’ of the Negros were songs of emotions and ‘protest’ that gave a voice to their oppressions. Revolutionary music gained a platform through popular culture.  It offered an awakening and reckoning of the times and has continued to have a renewed relevance and resonance today. There is no denying the power of music as a revolutionary weapon and social commentary in the society. These songs are often situational, sometimes abstract, or cognitive in content. On a whole, the artistes are in opposition to thestatus quo expressing, in more general terms, opposition to injustice and support for peace and justice”.

Said Prof Oni about Ras Kimono, “the dreadlocked legend lived and breathed reggae in all of its entirety. He used the genre to speak, without ceasing, of the ills of the land and to fight the cause of the oppressed. He spoke of the need for Africans to intellectually repel colonialism and its arbitrary boundaries between tribes. Most controversially, he was not averse to naming directly those in power he saw as synonymous with backdoor imperialism. Ras Kimono was a great influence on the ‘generation next’ of reggae musicians. Inspite of the dwindling fortune of reggae in the twilight of his life, he kept the flag of reggae at bay like a blind loyalist, continuing to charge the young ones to use the genre to speak truth to power. Kimono was an advocate of the people. He was the mouthpiece of the common man in all ramifications. He had a grasp of the pulse of the tribulations of the downtrodden.

He once said in an interview that ‘I live where the people live so I can see the tribulation they are going through; suffering and the humiliation, so we can put it into our music and expose it.’”

Some of the highlights of the Memorial Lecture were the presentation on the COSON House mega screen of “Good-Bye Ras Kimono”, an updated version of the much talked about multi-dimensional documentary on the life and times of Ras Kimono scripted and produced by Chief Tony Okoroji. At the event there was also a passing of the torch as a new era of the Kimono legacy with the launch by multi linguist and iconic broadcaster, Prince Bisi Olatilo of the 1st ever album of Kimono’s daughter, Oge Kimono, titled, “Good Ole Days”.

Oge Kimono had effusive praise for all the people who had come together to honour her father. She promised that she will not let them down or denigrate the legacy.

The Master of Ceremonies at the event was one of Nigeria’s best, Koffi Idowu-Nuel better known as Koffi Tha Guru. He held everyone spell bound.

COSON HAS LOST NOTHING OF SUBSTANCE – JAMES ONONIWU

 

Mr. James Ononiwu, principal partner in the Lagos law Firm of the WhiteDove Solicitors, lawyers to COSON, has reacted to a story making the rounds suggesting that COSON has lost a case against Efe Omorogbe & co. Following is the reaction of Mr. Ononiwu.

Our attention has been drawn to some gloating making the rounds on social media and shared extravagantly by one Pretty Okafor. The gloating is about a case said to have been lost by COSON at the Federal High Court on May 23, 2018. The fact is that before the matter was struck out by Honourable Justice Saidu, COSON had briefed its lawyers to withdraw the suit which had become academic. Indeed, COSON lawyers had planned to file a motion for withdrawal after the ruling regardless of the outcome. To all intents and purposes, the matter was dead.

It is necessary to state that there was no decision made by the court on the merits of the case. The truth is that the case which was challenging the holding out of Efe Omorogbe and some of his colleagues as Directors of COSON had become merely academic. Since their removal from the Board, in keeping with its rules and as a democratic organization, COSON has held two Annual General Meetings at which Board elections had been conducted and Omorogbe and his colleagues did not participate.

The gloating is like dancing when there is no music to dance to or celebrating when there is nothing to celebrate. If Pretty Okafor and his cohorts think that they have scored a victory over COSON, then it is a hollow and meaningless victory. If they wish to get drunk, they can drink all they want but not because of any victory over COSON.

The fact is that Efe O. Omorogbe has absolutely no platform anymore to refer to himself as Director or Chairman of COSON. His position on the Board has come to an end.

It is well known that he was removed by the COSON General Assembly on December 19, 2017. We are aware that he has contested his removal but as a result of the effusion of time, even if he remained on the Board, without re-election, his term had since come to an end.

Furthermore, there is an order of the Federal High Court restraining Efe Omorogbe from parading himself as Chairman of COSON. That order has not been set aside. Even if it is set aside, Efe Omorogbe who is no longer on the Board of COSON still cannot be Chairman. Time has seen to that.

COSON AGM APPROVES 40 MILLION NAIRA AS SPECIFIC DISTRIBUTION TO MEMBERS

 

 

At the 9th Annual General Meeting of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) which held at Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja on May 20, 2019, the members approved the sum of =N=40,000,000.00 (Forty Million Naira) as recommended by the Management Board to be set out as specific distribution to qualified members of the society. The distribution is in addition to the sum of =N=81,520,000.00 (Eighty-One Million, Five Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira) being currently paid out to members as General distribution in accordance with the approval of the December 2018 COSON EGM.

 

Addressing the members at Lagos Sheraton Hotel on Monday, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, “You will recall that in December of 2018, at our Extra-Ordinary General Meeting, you approved the distribution of the sum of =N=81,520,000.00 (Eighty-One Million, Five Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira) proposed by the Board, as General Distribution. I wish to report that a significant percentage of members have received their royalties in accordance with the decision approved by you. There might be some members who due to inadequate documentation or the change in our distribution platform occasioned by the wicked freezing of our bank accounts, who are yet to receive the royalties. It is my hope that we will get proper update from the states at this AGM so as to make sure that everyone gets what they are entitled to.

 

“If you approve the recommendation of the Board for a further sum of Forty Million Naira to be distributed as Specific Royalty, I believe that Management will take the necessary steps to ensure that the distribution is activated without delay.
The recommendation for specific distribution received unanimous consent as the members commended the leadership amidst chants of “COSON is working!” and “Let the music pay!”.

BRIGHT CHIMEZIE ELECTED TO THE COSON BOARD AS OKOROJI STEPS DOWN AND IS UNANIMOUSLY RE-ELECTED

There was heavy singing and dancing at the Banquet Hall of Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja this Monday, May 20, 2019 as stars of music from different states across the country converged in Lagos for the 9th Annual General Meeting of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) which is by far the nation’s biggest and most successful copyright collective management organization.

At the elections which took place at the AGM, Highlife Star and “Zigima” music exponent, Bright Chimezie was elected for the first time to the COSON Board. Chairman of COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji, whose term in office expired at the AGM, stepped down both as Chairman and as a Director. He was subsequently unanimously re-elected by the General Assembly in an election which had four top notch lawyers as returning officers.

Also elected to the Board on his own merit was renowned music maker and comedy star, Mr. Koffi Idowu-Nuel, popularly known as Koffi Tha Guru who had until the AGM held the seat on the Board previously held by the late Reggae icon, Ras Kimono who passed on in 2018.

Similarly re-elected to the Board is the musicologist, Hon. John Ewelukwa Udegbunam, a former National President of the powerful Music Label Owners & Recording Industries Association of Nigeria (MORAN).

The 2018 audited accounts and financial report of the society was also reviewed by the members and adopted.

The highlight of the AGM which coincided with the second anniversary of the commissioning of the magnificent COSON HOUSE in Ikeja was the Chairman’s address by Chief Tony Okoroji which received huge intermittent applause from the members with standing ovation at the end.

Said Okoroji, “At Lagos Sheraton Hotel today, I can see my brethren in music and music industry personalities from every nook and cranny of Nigeria. I wish to emphasize that it is our different characters, ages, experiences and unique locations that make COSON a truly national institution. The strength of COSON lies with all of you, in every state of the Nigerian nation where you come from as long as music is played there. It truly does not matter whether you play hip hop, highlife, fuji, juju, gospel, reggae, bongo, kalango, ikwokirikwo or whatever. As long you compose music, perform music or invest in music, COSON belongs to you.

“I am sure that many are surprised that with everything that has been thrown at us, COSON is working. COSON is working because we have built an institution with significant resilience and strong roots. COSON is working because there is trust and confidence between the members and the leaders. COSON is working not just because of our 100% dedication to the cause but because of the blessings and grace of the Almighty.

“I have read countless publications in which incredibly defamatory things have been said about me and facts twisted so badly to run me down. I have endured them because of my commitment to our cause and my determination that COSON should not go the way of PMAN.

“Distinguished members of COSON, my dedication to the COSON cause is not because of a title or because of personal wealth. My official car for much of 2018 was one rickety 20-year old Toyota Camry and later on, one 16-year old Honda Pilot. I do not live in a house provided by COSON. No member of my family goes to a hospital provided by COSON. I do not go on a vacation on the bill of COSON. I have spared myself no suffering or inconvenience because of my dedication to the COSON cause because I verily believe that the true worth of a man is not in what he takes but in what he gives”.

Continuing, Chief Okoroji said, “In commissioning COSON House, it appears that we commissioned envy, jealousy, covetousness, blackmail and the grab-grab madness of some Nigerians. Some of those who were sleeping while we built COSON cannot sleep anymore. They are awake plotting how to take over the place or to destroy it and destroy us. Those who had no time for us as we labored, suddenly have so much time for COSON. Day after day, they talk about nothing but COSON. They are working every day to hijack COSON or destabilize it. They have connived with their friends to hound us and use their people in various banks to shut down our accounts. They are so determined to keep for themselves that which we have built for thousands of the musicians of Nigeria.
“Since then, what have they not done to hijack COSON or bring us down? They tried to foist a leader on COSON and you, the members said absolute no. When that failed, they announced that our licence had been suspended and a court of law told them, ‘not so fast!’. Then, they organized to freeze our accounts in different banks and the courts told the banks to stop the none sense. Then, they tried to lock us up in prison. Now, that too has failed miserably. Shamelessly, a handful of people have shown desperation in their unending effort to hijack for themselves an institution we have built without one kobo of government money to protect the rights of innocent musicians and provide support and joy to thousands of people in our industry. They have unleashed the power of man to try and destroy the work of God. They want to grab the greatest organization ever built by creative people in Nigeria. The power of God however is always greater than the power of man. By the grace of the Almighty, the harder they come, the harder they will continue to fall”.

Amidst thunderous applause, Chief Okoroji declared to COSON members that what happened to PMAN will not happen to COSON.

Among the many stars present at the AGM were the revered music legend Prof (Sir) Victor Uwaifo, the Afro Juju creator, Sir Shina Peters, Reggae Star, Righteous Man, Gospel Crooner, Kenny Saint Best; Chris Mba of the “Baby Don’t Cry” fame; guitar wizard, Feladay, US based music star, Alabama and Owerri based Highlife Star, Ugo Stevenson. Also present were the current National President of Music Label Owners & Recording Industries Association of Nigeria (MORAN), Mr. Calistus Okeke; National President of Music Producers & Marketers Association of Nigeria (MUPMAN), Engr Sharon Esco Wilson and Chairman of Billtop Group, Dr Ben Ofoeze.
Immediately after the AGM, the reconstituted COSON Management Board made up of Sir Shina Peters, Ms Kenny Saint Brown, Mr Richard Cole. Ms. Maureen Ejezie Uso, Engineer Sharon Esco Wilson, Mr. Bright Chimezie, Mr. Kofi Idowu Nuel, Mr. Uche Emeka Paul, Evangelist Olusegun Omoyayi and Chief Tony Okoroji met at Lagos Sheraton and Chief Okoroji was re-elected Chairman.

The 9th COSON AGM may have come and gone but the reverberations will be felt for a long time to come.

COSON FLOORS FIRST BANK & NCC AT LAGOS HIGH COURT OVER UNAUTHORIZED FREEZING OF ACCOUNT

An Ikeja High Court Judge, Justice Y.R. Pinheiro has this Tuesday, May 14, 2019 struck out the Interpleader Action brought by First Bank (Nig.) Ltd against COSON over the freezing of the bank accounts of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) by First Bank. By the decision of the court, COSON has regained full access to all its funds at First Bank.

COSON’s counsel, Mr. James Ononiwu of the Whitedove Solicitors had applied to the court to strike out the Interpleader action of First Bank saying that the bank did not disclose any cause of action in the suit and that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

In her judgment, the learned trial judge agreed with Mr. Ononiwu that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter as no real dispute between the officers of COSON had been established by First bank.. She discountenanced the counter affidavit of the Nigerian Copyright Commission stating that her court had no jurisdiction to entertain the issues of copyright brought by the NCC.

In opposing the First Bank summons, the General Manager of COSON, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji in his affidavit stated that COSON is a private company limited by guarantee and not a government agency and that First Bank without any lawful order of court froze the accounts of COSON purportedly as a result of a letter from the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) when the bank knows that the NCC is not a court of law and does not have any powers under the law to give any directives to freeze the accounts of COSON and that the NCC is not in a position to determine who the signatories to the bank accounts of COSON should be.

There was wild jubilation at COSON House in Ikeja following the judgment. Celebrating the judgment, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji who was in court when the judgment was read said, “At COSON, we are taking the Nigerian nation through an important civics lesson. The fulcrum of that lesson is that in a democracy, no one, no matter how big, is above the law, whether you are Frist Bank, NCC or whatever else. I know that before now many people had made many assumptions not backed by facts or by the law. We are patiently using the courts to define the truth. The courts are answering the questions. Those who know me well know that I am a great believer in the rule of law and the legal system. COSON was built on the foundation of the rule of law. I firmly believe that the recent legal developments will make the powers of everyone clearer and our industry more professional and stable. I call on COSON members wherever they are to celebrate. The victory is yours. I am confident that the decision places us in a better position to generate more solid income for the practitioners and the nation for many years to come. It takes a lot of patience to do what we are doing. I am humbled to be part of this process”.