BREAKING NEWS!!! VICTOR UWAIFO WARNS NCC DG, EZEKUDE: PLEASE FIGHT THE PIRATES AND LEAVE COSON AND OKOROJI ALONE!!!

Prof Victor Uwaifo

One of Nigeria’s most iconic musicians of all times, Sir Victor Uwaifo, has warned the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Mr. Afam Ezekude to concentrate on fighting music pirates and leave Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and its Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, alone.

 

In a letter to Mr. Ezekude dated October 16, 2018 copied to President Muhammadu Buhari and several top government officials, Uwaifo who is a Professor of Fine & Applied Arts at the University of Benin, said that he was left with disbelief and absolute shock upon reading recently that Mr. Ezekude has filed criminal charges against COSON, the COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji and some staff members of COSON.

 

Professor Uwaifo complained that it appears that in the last one year, rather than fight the pirates killing the creative industry in Nigeria, all the NCC DG has done is wage a misguided war against COSON, Nigeria’s one success story in the copyright sector and a shining symbol of the Nigerian nation across the continent.

 

In the letter, the multiple award winning and celebrated king of Joromi, Akwete, Titibiti, Ekassa, Sasakosa and many-many hit tunes, who once performed at the United Nations in New York wrote, “It is shameful that the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Copyright Commission would dream of filing a charge against Chief Tony Okoroji, the man that galvanized the entire Nigerian nation with the unsurpassed advocacy that compelled the government to promulgate the Nigerian Copyright Law and set up the Nigerian Copyright Commission which today offers you employment. For several years, Chief Okoroji has been the nation’s No 1 Intellectual Property advocate at great personal cost.

 

“Maybe you are not aware that Chief Tony Okoroji risked his life for you to have the job you enjoy today. During his agitation for the establishment of the NCC, he could have been killed by the military government of the day. With the help of the likes of Prof. Egerton Ovieghara who became the first Chairman of the NCC, Chief Okoroji drafted the law that set up your commission. I wonder how you can even think of destroying the good name of such a man by filing criminal charges against him. What exactly did he do?”

 

Sir Victor Efosa Uwaifo who is the winner of Nigeria’s first gold disc album with Joromi, recalled that on February 26, 2018, he sent a letter to Mr. Ezekude in which he cautioned the DG on his continued meddling with the internal affairs of COSON, which he described as an independent private sector organization in which the government of Nigeria has not invested one kobo. He asked Ezekude to go and read the letter again.

 

Said Uwaifo, “Because you refused to listen to my advice not to continue your unlawful and desperate attempt to control COSON by foisting on COSON a person we believe you wish to manipulate, I led thousands of members of COSON to the Federal High Court where on July 10, 2018, we obtained an order restraining Mr. Efe Omorogbe from parading himself as Chairman of COSON. That order still subsists.

 

“When you went to town with utmost impunity to publish that you had suspended the operating licence of COSON while the issues were before a court of law, I, once again, led the members of COSON to the Federal High Court to obtain another court order which on September 19, 2018 suspended your purported suspension of the COSON licence. The order also subsists.

 

“No decent person can understand how under the prevailing circumstances, you can successfully bring any charge against COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji and other management staff of COSON for serving the musicians of Nigeria by doing the work which the law allows them to do.

 

An obviously angry Uwaifo warned in the letter: “Mr. Afam Ezekude, you are not above the law and somebody needs to call you to order!”

 

Also in the letter, Prof. Uwaifo advised Ezekude to immediately withdraw any charge he may have filed against COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji and the management staff of COSON, which he emphasized is Nigeria’s most admired organization in the creative industry ever, built with the unrivaled leadership of Chief Tony Okoroji whom he called a nationalist per excellence.

 

He also advised the DG to focus on fighting the biting piracy militating against the creative industry rather than spend all his time meddling with and trying to destabilize COSON which Prof Uwaifo said is being run professionally.

COSON LICENCE IS ONE HUNDRED PERCENT NOT SUSPENDED

Barr James Ononiwu

As lawyers to Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Nigeria’s most successful organization in the creative industry, our attention has been drawn to the blatantly false information being circulated by mischief makers including the leadership of the Nigerian Copyright Commission that COSON is operating without a CMO approval. Nothing can be farther from the truth.

We wish to state emphatically that COSON’s operations are 100% in consonance with Nigerian law.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Federal High Court, Port-Harcourt, in Suit No FHC/PH/CS/116/2018,on September 19, 2018, made an order against the Nigerian Copyright Commission upon the application of several members of COSON led by the venerable Prof. (Sir) Victor Uwaifo. The order directs:
“maintenance of the status quo and suspension of all actions, proceedings and processes relating to the purported suspension of the licence of COSON and freezing of its bank accounts pending the hearing and the determination of the Motion on Notice already filed in this suit”. The said order of the Federal High Court subsists.
Before the above-mentioned order, the Federal High Court, Enugu in SUIT NO FHC/EN/CS/58/2018,also brought by members of COSON, on July 10, 2018, ordered Mr. Efe Omorogbe to stop parading himself as Chairman of COSON. The order continues to subsist.

There is no court order anywhere restraining COSON from carrying out its functions as a collective management organization. There is also no court order of any type restraining any COSON official from maintaining his or her position. The COSON Board is united. The membership continues to grow exponentially. The management remains solid. Anyone who visits the magnificent COSON House in Ikeja today will see a world class operation with very well trained personnel in a first rate environment.

The very misguided attempt by Mr. Afam Ezekude, the embattled DG of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, to foist those we consider as his cohorts on COSON in a desperate attempt to control this shining Nigerian organization built with the sweat of Nigerian musicians and managed with world class efficiency, has failed repeatedly and will continue to fail.

DG Ezekude is the same man who has for several weeks been reportedly locked out of his own office by his senior staff for allegedly stealing hundreds of millions of Naira belonging to the commission for which his staff have continually called for his arrest and prosecution. In our opinion, the game plan of the DG and his cohorts was to take control of COSON, milk it dry and turn it into another wasteland like the dirty, leaking and smelly NCC office at 16 Aloba Street, Ebute Metta, Lagos where rats and cockroaches fight day and night with the staff for attention.

We hereby stress that every public or commercial user of musical works or sound recordings in the COSON repertoire MUST obtain a COSON licence before such use. We wish to remind such users that musical works and sound recordings are intellectual property owned by citizens and not the property of the NCC. There is no circumstance in which the NCC has power to authorize anyone to use such property for free. We wish to assure everyone who is tempted to ignore this warning that there will be consequences.

Finally, we wish to state that the purported charge by the NCC against COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji and other staff of COSON for obeying the law and vigorously representing the interest of musicians in Nigeria, is a witch hunt gone crazy.

We wish to emphatically inform the general public that our clients have not committed any crime of any kind for which they have to face any charge and that we will seek appropriate legal redress on behalf of our clients for the brazen attempt to soil their names.

 

FOR: WHITEDOVE SOLICITORS

JAMES ONONIWU

COSON MOURNS EFE KIMONO

Efe Kimono

Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has expressed utter shock at the news of the demise of Efe Kimono, the beloved wife of the recently departed rub – a – dub master, Ras Kimono.

Speaking from COSON House in Ikeja, Lagos State, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said “I am totally devastated at such news. Efe was a special kind of woman and only few Nigerian women have made the kind of impression she made on me during her lifetime. Just recently we were all together in Lagos, Asaba and Onicha Olona to pay our last respects to her husband, Ras Kimono who also was my close friend and brother, and Efe did everything humanly possible to make sure Kimono was buried like a King. Efe was different, she will be missed greatly. Efe was loved by all of us at COSON: the Board, the management and the members. She was considered one of us and did infact represent Ras Kimono on the Board whenever he was out of the country and contributed immensely to the progress COSON has made. In her own right, she was a great singer.’’

Also speaking, COSON General Manager, Chinedu Chukwuji described the late Efe Okedi as a passionate believer in the COSON dream, with her death coming as a big blow to the music industry.

He said: “Efe Kimono had a passion for the industry that is difficult to explain. At COSON events, Efe was always present, and her belief in a thriving industry was unparalleled. Efe was not only passionate, she was incredibly brilliant. On behalf of the Board, management, and members of staff, we console with the family and friends and pray that God gives them the strength to bear such irreplaceable loss.”

BREAKING!!! AFTER FILING A 600 MILLION NAIRA COMPREHENSIVE DEFAMATION SUIT AGAINST PRETTY OKAFOR, OKOROJI’S LAWYER WARNS PRETTY ON THE CONSEQUENCES OF FURTHER LIBELLOUS STATEMENTS AGAINST THE COSON CHAIRMAN

Barr James Ononiwu

Mr. James Ononiwu of the big Lagos law firm of Whitedove Solicitors, lawyers to Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji, has written to Mr. Pretty Okafor warning him of the consequences of the new wave of libellous statements made by Mr. Okafor against Chief Okoroji on several social media platforms.

In the letter dated September 14, 2018, Mr Ononiwu wrote, “Your claims and innuendoes on the said social media platforms that our client published or caused to be published fake and false public statements to the effect that the Federal High Court had on September 5, 2018 ordered the Nigerian Copyright Commission to suspend all actions, proceedings and processes relating to the purported suspension of the licence of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and the freezing of COSON’s bank accounts, are outrageous and libellous of our client”

Said Mr Ononiwu. “As has recently been shown, every information contained in the said COSON publication is accurate. Chief Okoroji is a man of impeccable integrity and will never take part in the dissemination of any falsehood or any information that is deceitful”

Mr Ononiwu reminded Mr. Okafor that he has refused, failed or neglected to file any defence to the 600 Million Naira comprehensive defamation law suit filed by Chief Tony Okoroji against him at the High Court of Lagos State in Ikeja since May 22, 2018. He also told Pretty Okafor that after having since been served with the processes, Chief Okoroji is set to proceed to obtain judgment against him and enforce the judgement if he does not take appropriate action.

In the letter, Mr Ononiwu went on to inform Pretty Okafor that Chief Okoroji will not hesitate to bring fresh court action against him.

It will be recalled that in a 17- page Statement of Claim, supported by 8 witnesses and numerous documents, Chief Tony Okoroji has in Suit No ID/ADR/903/2018, detailed several destructive statements made on different occasions against him by Pretty Okafor on Facebook, WhatsApp, magazine interviews, press releases, etc, stating that the statements are ‘blatantly false, serially defamatory, obnoxious, reckless and sordid’.

Apart from asking the court for general damages in the sum of three hundred million Naira and aggravated damages in the sum of another three hundred million Naira, Chief Okoroji has also asked for conspicuous and unreserved apology from Pretty Okafor published on Facebook, WhatsApp, the Guardian Newspaper, the Sun Newspaper, the Punch and Vanguard Newspaper.

The celebrated former President of PMAN, CEO of TOPS and author of “Copyright & the New Millionaires” has also asked for a perpetual injunction restraining Mr. Okafor, Mr. Okafor’s servants, agents or privies by whatever name called, from further publishing or broadcasting, or causing to be published or broadcast, the said words or any words defamatory of Chief Okoroji.

Okoroji’s lawyer, Barrister James Ononiwu, has also said, “Chief Tony Okoroji knows the ‘guy men’ who are so desperate to hijack COSON, the most successful organization in the history of the creative industry in Nigeria, built with the exemplary and outstanding leadership of Okoroji. These ‘guy men’ desperately want to grab what Chief Okoroji has built for the good of generations of musicians in Nigeria. They want to milk COSON dry and trash it. These are the same people who destroyed PMAN and destroyed NARI, all built with the significant input of Chief Tony Okoroji. They want to destroy COSON too and Tony Okoroji says no!

“The ‘guy men’ know that they cannot take out Chief Okoroji through a democratic process. Chief Tony Okoroji, a tried, tested, incorruptible and deep intellectual who is not afraid to speak truth to power, enjoys the overwhelming trust and confidence of musicians across Nigeria. These ‘guy men’ who want to reap where they did not sow, have therefore resorted to the sick fabrication and deployment of falsehood and defamation of character which they mistakenly think will take out Chief Okoroji.

“Let them be informed that while our client is a man of peace and welcomes constructive criticism, Chief Okoroji will not stand idle over the coordinated wicked lies and unjust fabrications. He is fully committed to defending COSON and determined to keep COSON strong, vibrant, alive and productive for the good of generations of Nigerian musicians. Chief Tony Okoroji, a well-known advocate of the rule of law, has asked us to look out for the ‘guy men’ who are blackmailing COSON, serve them summons to come to court so that they can repeat what they have said on social media, in a court of law, and provide the evidence to back up their statements. Where they cannot defend what they have said, they will pay the price. The time for careless talk is over”.

KOFFI JOINS THE COSON BOARD

Koffi Idowu-Nuel

 

Koffi Idowu-Nuel, otherwise called Koffi Tha Guru, has been appointed to the Board of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Africa’s fastest growing copyright collective management organization.

 

The decision to appoint Mr. Idowu-Nuel to the Board received the unanimous consent of every member of the COSON Board at a meeting held on August 22 at COSON House in Lagos. Following his appointment, Koffi will take over the position previously held by the late Rub-A-Dub Master, Ras Kimono who was recently laid to rest in his home town, Onicha Olona in Delta State. Koffi will remain on the Board till the next COSON Annual General Meeting when he will have the opportunity to stand election and if elected by the members, will continue to serve.

 

Koffi Idowu-Nuel is a graduate of Chemistry from the University of Lagos where he also undertook Theatre training from Theatre 15. He is a multi-linguist from Ibeju Lekki Lagos with a Togolese mother.

 

Koffi, who enjoys across-the-board goodwill within the Nigerian creative industry, recently released his 13th music album, “Colourborations”, featuring Sir Shina Peters, Sound Sultan, 9ice, Asa, Fatai Rolling Dollar, Bovi, Sunny Neji, Paul Play, ChiGul, Ashny, Diana Bada, MC Abbey, Ras Kimono, Small Doctor, African China, Q.Dot, Maleke, Splufikteam, Ikpa Udo, Classiq, Obadice, Sossick, Isolate, Ruffcoin, Raw, Ajasa, Emmaohmahgod, Woli Arole, etc.

 

The multi-talented entertainer and master of ceremony extra-ordinaire, is a renowned comedian, actor, singer and producer with numerous awards.

 

Koffi Idowu-Nuel who is married with three children is the CEO of FUN Media and author of the book, “Beauty of the Beast: The Scars that made me a Star” his recently published memoire.

 

Commenting on Koffi’s appointment, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, said, “Koffi is not just a frontline member of COSON. Like the late Ras Kimono, whose position on the Board he steps into, Koffi is a 100% COSON activist totally dedicated to the cause of the organization. He understands our commitment to the work of building a first class institution that protects the rights of thousands in the Nigerian creative industry. A number of names were proposed to wear the big shoes left by the Rub-A-Dub Master but Koffi easily won the day because of his continued service to COSON even while he was not a member of the Board. I have no doubt that COSON will benefit immensely from Koffi’s sense of service, tremendous goodwill, brilliance and deep intellect”  

 

THE STATE OF THE NIGERIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY

‘THE STATE OF THE NIGERIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY’

 

“NO MUSIC DAY” 2018 OFFICIAL STATEMENT issued on behalf of the Nigerian Music Industry by the Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji.

————————————————————————————————————————————–

 

Today is September 1. It is “No Music Day” in Nigeria, a day the music industry has dedicated annually to bring the attention of the Nigerian nation to the widespread infringement of the rights of song writers, composers, performers, music publishers, record labels and other stakeholders in the music industry in Nigeria.

                                           

As we have done every year in the past nine years, we have once again requested broadcasting stations in the country to devote a substantial amount of broadcast time today to programs which highlight the significant abuse of the rights of creative people in our country. This is to show solidarity with the Nigerian creative community ravaged by piracy and other forms of rights infringement. Nigerian newspapers and magazines have also been requested to publish special features on issues bordering on the infringement of Intellectual Property rights on this “No Music Day” and in the coming days.

As we mark “No Music Day” today, we have also asked the thousands of members of COSON across Nigeria and other stakeholders in the music industry to stand up today and speak truth to power.

It is our firm belief that creative people in Nigeria cannot afford to keep quiet any longer as Nigeria goes through another electioneering campaign season in which politicians hop from one end of the country to the other but no one offers any direction for the development and optimal deployment of the millions of Nigeria’s creative talents for national development.

Today, we wish to tell Nigerian politicians that we will not be taken for granted anymore and we will not help people canvass for votes who after getting into office will abandon the creative industry to suffer in an environment that completely discourages creativity.

We are making it abundantly clear that it is only politicians who have developed a well thought out long-term plan for the progress of our industry and have shown clear interest in the development of the nation’s creative environment that can count on our significant support, the mobilization of our fans and their votes as elections approach. In the same manner, we will mobilize massively against those who have no plans to properly deploy the creative energy of young Nigerian people.

People ask, “How did “No Music Day” begin?” “No Music Day” is traceable to that historic week in 2009 when Nigerian artistes of different shades embarked on a weeklong hunger strike staged in front of the National Theatre in Lagos. The hunger strike which was a result of the frustration caused by the devastating level of intellectual property theft in the country was the prelude to what has become known as “No Music Day” in Nigeria. The day was September 1, 2009 when practitioners in the Nigerian music industry asked the over 400 licensed broadcast stations in the country not to broadcast music for a significant period of the day.

For the first time in human history, the music industry in a nation called for the halt of the broadcast of music all over the country for a whole day, September 1, 2009. This action captured the imagination of the world and what we mark as “No Music Day” every year in Nigeria, was born. It probably needs to be made clear that “No Music Day” celebrated in Nigeria is a completely Nigerian creation arising from Nigerian experiences and should not be confused with any event of a similar title held anywhere else in the world.

We wish to remind the different politicians and political parties canvasing for votes across the country that the disease which necessitated the hunger strike of 2009 has not quite been cured. At this time that other nations are building their economic growth on the creative and knowledge economy, Nigeria must take important steps to protect its creative industries to ensure the socio-economic progress of the nation.

We use this opportunity to thank the different broadcast stations across Nigeria which complied with our request not to broadcast music between the hours of 8am and 10am today as a mark of solidarity with the nation’s creative industries which have suffered immensely from the debilitating infringement of copyright. Across the country today, many broadcast stations dedicated the time belt to the broadcast of interviews, documentaries, debates and discussions that focussed on the rights of creative people and the potential contributions of creative activities to the national economy. Newspapers and magazines across the country have also been requested to publish special features on these issues in the coming days.

On “No Music Day” 2018, we wish to underline the fact that at a time of dwindling revenue, when we seek to improve the socio-economic conditions of our people, Nigeria can no longer continue to pay lip service to the protection of its creative industries. Today, all flags at COSON House are flying at half-mast as we have an open house event so that journalists, artistes and intellectual property professionals can interact. 

 

As we mark “No Music Day” today, we must ask all Nigerians to seriously think about a world without music. What kind of world exactly would that be?

 

Every year, in marking “No Music Day”, our key objective has been to engage the Nigerian people and the various governments on the potential contributions of Nigerian creativity to the development of the Nigerian nation and the necessity to fully deploy the substantial comparative advantage which our nation possesses in this area so as to provide hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs to the teeming masses of Nigerian youth who parade the streets of our country almost hopelessly and which hopelessness invariably attracts them to become laborers in the devil’s workshop.

 

Everywhere you go, the ingenuity of the Nigerian people continues to be on display. Our music, movies, literature, fashion, programming, and similar products of the creative endeavour are in substantial demand across the world. In the creative industry, Nigeria has significant comparative advantage. We are only asking for people who have the vision, the passion and the understanding of the new world to be in the right position, spark the fire and change the national narrative.

 

As we mark “No Music Day” 2018, we ask for an end to the period of the locust in Nigeria when poor leadership without vision has held our country down.

 

We ask for a new Nigeria in which the people of wealth and influence are no longer those who have brazenly stolen the people’s patrimony or scammed the people and tricked them out of what rightfully belongs to them.

 

We ask for a Nigeria driven by knowledge and creativity. We want a nation where creative people can depend on their creativity and live well.

 

For many years, some of us in the creative industries have continuously requested a proper engagement with the government so that we can unleash the burning latent energy of the creative geniuses that abound in our nation and to deploy that energy towards national development. We have repeatedly asked the government to unchain the immense potentials that exist in our nation.

 

We are very concerned about the involvement of uninformed and misinformed government officials flexing their muscles and destroying initiatives that have taken many years to set up. The result is unbridled confusion in the industry.

 

We ask for real change so that the nation can have an environment to address the following:

 

 

  1. To mobilize the necessary officials and ensure the full implementation of the Private Copy Levy scheme without any further delay.

 

  1. Ensure that the Nigerian Communications Commission makes it very clear to all telecommunications companies operating in the country that henceforth, there will be zero tolerance for the infringement of the Intellectual Property rights of Nigerian citizens whose works are deployed by these companies.

 

 

  1. Ensure that the Honourable Minister of Information & Culture and the different state governors make it clear to all Federal Government and State Government owned broadcasting stations and other government institutions that there is no provision in the law that exempts them from the payment of royalties for the musical content broadcast or deployed by them.
  2. Ensure that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as a matter of urgency, takes necessary steps to begin the take down of the several pirate websites bastardizing Nigerian Intellectual Property on the Internet;

 

  1. Ensure that the Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, the Minister of Foreign Affairs working with the Minister of Information & Culture act swiftly to guarantee that the brazen and massive piracy of Nigerian music, movies and literature across our continent is eradicated;

 

  1. Ensure that the Nigerian Copyright Commission which was unlawfully placed under the supervision of the Minister of Justice is brought back under the supervision of the Minister charged with the responsibility for Culture as provided under the law and empowered with the necessary Governing Board to pivot towards the effective implementation of anti-piracy measures in the digital environment.

 

  1. Ensure that the National Assembly acts with despatch to ensure the promulgation into law of the new Copyright Bill which contains several provisions that deal with the infringement of copyright in the digital era.

 

  1. Ensure that necessary steps are taken to finally get the National Endowment Fund for the Arts operative so as to provide urgently needed resources to ensure the funding of creative projects in Nigeria and to ensure the welfare of creative people in our country who have fallen into hard times.

 

The theme of, “No Music Day” 2018 is ‘Copyright is Human right. We believe that the time has come for our music industry to go beyond simply providing entertainment but playing a key role in nation building.

 

We cannot afford to give up as a nation despite the immense disappointments we have had. We must reinvent the Nigerian nation and speak truth to power. We believe that in this process, creative people in Nigeria must play a central role, stand up, take responsibility, work together, establish the strong advocacy necessary in every democracy to create positive change. 

God bless Nigeria.

 

Chief Tony Okoroji; September 1, 2018

 

COSON CALLS ON NIGERIAN MUSICIANS TO SPEAK UP TO POLITICIANS ON “NO MUSIC DAY”, SEPTEMBER 1

Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Africa’s fastest growing collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings, has called on its thousands of members across the country, other stakeholders in the music industry and lovers of music in Nigeria who are sympathetic to the plight of creative people in the country, to speak up on Saturday, September 1, 2018 as Nigeria marks “No Music Day”

Making the call in Lagos, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, “Creative people in Nigeria cannot afford to keep quiet as Nigeria goes through another electioneering campaign process in which no one offers any direction for the development and optimal deployment of the millions of Nigeria’s creative talents for national development. We will not be taken for granted any more

“The time has come to make it abundantly clear that it is only politicians who have developed a sensible long-term plan for the progress of our industry and have shown clear interest in the development of the nation’s creative industry that can count on our significant support and votes when the time comes”

“No Music Day” can be traced to that historic week in 2009 when Nigerian artistes of different shades embarked on a weeklong hunger strike staged in front of the National Theatre in Lagos. The hunger strike which was a result of the frustration caused by the devastating level of intellectual property theft in the country was the prelude to what has become known as “No Music Day” in Nigeria. The day was September 1, 2009 when practitioners in the Nigerian music industry asked all the 400 licensed broadcast stations in the country not to broadcast music for a significant period of the day.

Continuing, Chief Tony Okoroji who spearheaded the 2009 campaign, said that it has become imperative that appropriate action be taken to remind the different politicians canvasing for votes across the country that the disease which necessitated the hunger strike of 2009 has not quite been cured and that at this time that other nations are building their growth on the creative economy, Nigeria must take important steps to protect its creative industries to ensure the socio-economic progress of the nation.

 

As has become the tradition, broadcast stations across Nigeria have been requested not to broadcast music between the hours of 8am and 10am on Saturday, September 1, 2018 as a mark of solidarity with the nation’s creative industries which have suffered immensely from the debilitating infringement of copyright. Rather than broadcast music, the stations have been asked to dedicate the 8 am to 10 am time belt to the broadcast of interviews, documentaries, debates and discussions that focus on the rights of creative people and the potential contributions of creative activities to the national economy. Newspapers and magazines across the country have also been requested to publish special features on these issues in the coming days.

The Nigerian public is requested to tune in to different domestic radio and television stations on September 1 as over 60 top COSON members, Intellectual Property lawyers, investors in the music industry and other music industry experts are spread out to diverse broadcast stations and will simultaneously discuss “Copyright is Human Right” the theme of the 2018 No Music Day.

On “No Music Day”, flags at the magnificent COSON House in Ikeja will fly at half-mast. COSON will also issue an important statement on the state of the music industry.

At the COSON Arena, a tool kit developed under the GEM project by Mr. John Assien, an internationally respected expert on copyright and a former Director of the Nigerian Copyright Institute, will be formerly presented to the intellectual property community at a special event called “Let’s Talk Copyright” (LTC) which will hold at the COSON House Arena on September 1, 2018. Let’s Talk Copyright will be the climax of the 2018 No Music Day.

Artistes, journalists, intellectual property lawyers and those interested in the subject are invited to Let’s Talk Copyright which begins at midday on September 1

COSON SENDS RAS KIMONO HOME LIKE A KING!

For two days, the usually calm Oluwaleimu Street in the Allen Avenue area of Ikeja in Lagos was on lockdown as artistes of all colours and prominent personalities from within and outside the country stormed the street which houses the magnificent COSON House owned by Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) to pay last respect to a legendary Nigerian artiste, the Rub A Dub Master, Ras Kimono.

COSON pulled every stop and left no arrangement unmade as it sent forth Kimono home in grand style like a King.

On Wednesday, August 23, a sleek red-carpet event, a tribute night like no other, was executed by COSON. The tribute night attended by music industry personalities of all persuasions, climaxed the week-long program of the funeral of the massively beloved music legend who passed on at Lagoon Hospital, Ikoyi Lagos on June 10, 2018.

On the top floor of COSON House at the stunning COSON Arena, there was a tightly produced show which opened with an invocation by gospel artiste, Kenny Saint Best. The show featured first class performances by the likes of Tama Nisa, a beautiful young singer with the voice of an angel. Flanked by five sweet looking girls dressed in black, each with a lit candle, Tama Nisa wowed the audience with “Good Night Ras Kimono” adapted from Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind”
Tama Nisa’s performance was followed by “Jolly Good Man”, a moving tribute in song to Ras Kimono by reggae singer, Righteousman.

Incredibly gifted singer, Essence Uwale was also on stage at the COSON Arena and she brought tears to the eyes of many with her unique rendition of “One Sweet Day”

Instead of the traditional minute silence, there was a Minute of Whistles in which everyone in the audience blew their whistles in celebration of Kimono, very well known for his love of whistles.

The show at the COSON House was streamed live on several media platforms and on a huge screen on Oluwaleimu Street where a significant audience lined the street and watched until the beginning of the explosive music concert on a huge stage set up by COSON on Oluwaleimu Street which concert went on until the early hours of Thursday.

In between the performances, there appeared on the big screen at the COSON Arena, a finely scripted documentary personally produced by the COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji which traced the life of Ras Kimono with details unknown to many; from his birth in his hometown, Onicha Olona to his passing on in Lagos. The documentary received a rousing applause.

The unforgettable event with Koffi as MC, ended with a moving performance of “Holy Spirit” by the iconic reggae legend, Majek Fashek after which the tribute night shifted to the grounds of Oluwaleimu Street where artiste after artiste took to the big stage and performed through the night and into the morning.

Next day, Thursday, the 23rd, Oluwaleimu Street witnessed the grand Kimono Lying in State. The body of the reggae lion was placed in an all glass casket on an enchanting dais designed by Gbemisola Amedu and set up by Lefranc Eventors, in front of the magnificent COSON House. People streamed in from everywhere to view the body and pay their last respects to the Rub-A-Dub Master. After the lying in state, a strong delegation of the COSON Board and officials; the Rastafarian community, members of the family, friends, other entertainment industry personalities and the media, set out in a massive convoy to Asaba, the capital of Delta State.

The body in a white Cadillac Escalade hearse, which was cheered by Nigerians on the road, all the way to Asaba, was received in the Delta State capital, on behalf of the state government by the state Commissioner for Culture & Tourism, Mr. Emma Chinye. At every stop along the way, ordinary Nigerians waved with many singing and dancing to “Under Pressure”, “What’s Gwan?” “Rumba Stylee” and the rest of the unforgettable music of the great Ras Kimono who was a 100% COSON activist and Board member to the end.

GEM, COSON partner on Intellectual Property Toolkit

COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, 4th left, surrounded by Mr. Bello Abba Yakasai , Cluster Manager, GEM Project, 4th right, Mr. John Assien, Chairman REPRONIG, immediate left, Mr Ndubusi Kanu, Asst. Cluster Manager, GEM Project, 2nd right and Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji, GM/CEO COSON,right.   L-R – Mr. Chibueze Moses Okereke, Head Public Affairs, COSON, Mr. Johnson T. Akeredolu, Project Officer, Tourism and Hospitality GEM Project and Ms. Simi Wash-Pam, COSON Legal Counsel

In a bid to properly educate and enlighten the Nigerian populace and the entertainment industry in particular, the Growth and Empowerment Project (GEM), funded by the World Bank and domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, has just entered into a new partnership with Copyright Society of Nigeria, (COSON), Nigeria’s wave making collective management organization. In the partnership, GEM has domiciled at COSON House, a just developed tool kit for education in intellectual property with emphasis on copyright, aimed at ensuring a well-rounded, global understanding of the subject in Nigeria.

At a meeting held at the boardroom of COSON House, Ikeja, on Thursday August 9, 2018 during which the partnership was concluded, Mr. Bello Abba Yakasai, Cluster Manager, GEM Project, said that the initiative was borne out of the need to engender a culture of respect for intellectual property rights amongst practitioners in the industry and users of intellectual property in the country. This, he said appeared to have been difficult in the past, owing to the ambiguous nature of the subject.

Yakasai said “What we aim to achieve with this tool kit is to simplify the grey areas with respect to Intellectual Property so as to make it understandable by everyone. The IP manual, we are certain, will bring about a reorientation amongst everyone; be it the owners of the intellectual property or the end users”

The tool kit developed under the GEM project by Mr. John Asein, an internationally respected expert on copyright and a former Director of the Nigerian Copyright Institute will be formerly presented to the intellectual property community at a special event, “Let’s Talk Copyright” (LTC) which will hold at the COSON House Arena on September 1, 2018. Let’s Talk Copyright will be the climax of the 2018 No Music Day celebration.

As has been the practice over the last eight years, different representatives of COSON, in a Media Blitz, will simultaneously be at key broadcast stations across the country on September 1, the annual No Music Day, to discuss with Nigerians the intriguing subject of intellectual property which is shaping the new global economy.

After the Media Blitz, various artistes, performers, movie makers, broadcasters, legal practitioners and the media are expected to descend on COSON House for “Let’s Talk Copyright” (LTC) where the new Tool Kit will be unveiled by the creator, Mr. John Asein supported by officials of GEM and the World Bank.

According to Mr. Yakasai, the decision to partner with COSON on the project is in recognition of the unassailable impact that COSON has made across the continent with respect to intellectual property. In the words of Mr. Yakasai , “COSON, more than any other institution in Nigeria, has shown that it has the capacity to manage such an important resource and to put it to good use for the larger society”

Responding to Mr. Yakasai, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji thanked the GEM team for their continued confidence in COSON. He said that with COSON as custodian of the IP tool kit, GEM and its partner agencies can rest assured that the tools will be properly deployed and that the message will get to every stakeholder in the industry

In attendance at the meeting were the COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji, Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Chibueze Moses Okereke and COSON Head of Legal, Ms. Simi Wash-Pam.

Also present at the meeting was the creator of the tool kit, Mr. John Assien, who is also Executive Secretary of Reprographic Rights Organization of Nigeria (REPRONIG) and other members of the GEM Project team which included Mr Ndubuisi Kanu, Assistant Cluster Manager and Mr. Johnson T. Akeredolu GEM Project Officer, Tourism and Hospitality.

COSON HOUSE PULLS OUT ALL THE STOPS FOR RAS KIMONO AS PLANS ARE ROLLED OUT FOR A SLEEK RED-CARPET TRIBUTE NIGHT IN HONOUR OF THE RUB-A-DUB MASTER

RAS KIMONO

The magnificent COSON House in Ikeja will on Wednesday, August 22 witness a super classy event in honour of the great reggae toaster, Ras kimono, who passed on in Lagos on June 10, 2018.  

The sleek red-carpet event, a tribute night like no other, will climax the week-long program of the funeral of the massively beloved music legend who will be laid to rest in his home town, Onicha Olona in Delta State, on Saturday, August 25, 2018.

Speaking on the upcoming event, COSON Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Chibueze Moses Okereke said “the event will be strictly by invitation. We know that people from all walks of life would wish to attend this big event especially as the sleek tribute night is being personally produced by the COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, Nigeria’s undisputed master of special events. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate everyone so if you get the IV, please honour the event because it means that you belong to a select group. Members of the Kimono family have met several times with our Chairman over the tribute night and I have no doubt that it will be talk of the town”  

Also speaking about the forthcoming Red Carpet Tribute Night in honour of the great Ras Kimono, the COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji, said, “Ras Kimono was not just a COSON member, he was a 100% committed COSON member, totally dedicated to the COSON cause. As a hyper creative person, he fought against anything that will destroy COSON as he saw the organization as a watershed development in our country and an important legacy for the Nigerian creative industry. No one should forget that until he passed on, Ras Kimono was a key member of the COSON Board and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji through every challenge. Chief Okoroji was one of the last persons Kimono spoke to on his sick bed, before he passed on.

“The COSON Board he left behind, has held a special meeting in his honour and has instructed that the magnificent COSON House that Kimono contributed to building must host a memorable event in his honour to celebrate this one of a kind Nigerian artiste as he sets out on his last journey out of Lagos. All hands are on deck at COSON, the organization he loved with all his heart, to ensure that Kimono is buried like the king that he was”