Trial has finally commenced at the Federal High Court Calabar in the big copyright Infringement case brought by Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) against the Calabar Carnival Commission, the Governor of Cross River State and the Attorney-General of the state.
Famed broadcaster and actor, Mr Patrick Doyle was the first witness in the matter before, Justice I.E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court Calabar, on Wednesday, May 24. Led in evidence by Mr. Justin Ige of Creative Legal, the Lagos based Intellectual property law firm, Mr. Doyle asked the court to adopt his sworn statement on oath in the matter as his evidence in the case.
On Friday, May 24, it was the turn of Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman of COSON, former President of PMAN and one of Africa’s best known intellectual property experts, to take the witness stand.
It was tug of war between COSON lawyer, Mr Justin Ige and Mr. Tony Effiong, an Assistant Director in the Cross River State Ministry of Justice who represented the Defendants in the action. Mr Effiong objected to practically every document in a very large bundle sought to be tendered by Mr. Ige through Chief Okoroji.
As the arguments between the lawyers flew back and forth, a clearly exasperated Justice Ekwo threatened to adjourn the trial. After about two hours of the heated arguments, the matter was adjourned by Justice Ekwo for the continuation of trial to October 4, 5 and 6 on the request of Mr. Ige.
Speaking outside the courtroom, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, ‘We are very happy that trial has finally started after several years in which the Defendants have played every game in the book. If the ploy was to frustrate COSON so that we would abandon the case, then the ploy has failed. We are determined to defend the interests of the musicians of Nigeria without apologies to anyone. Maybe they don’t know but we are rugged and are determined to see this matter to the very end. The more time they waste, the more determined we are to see that justice is done. We are also happy that they have paid the first cost awarded by his lordship in this matter. Now they know that this is not a joke. We will follow them bumper to bumper until the cheating of musicians comes to an end in Nigeria”.