Less than six months after an Ikeja High Court Judge, Justice Y.R. Pinheiro, gave a damning blow to First Bank (Nig.) Ltd as she struck out the interpleader action brought by the bank against Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), First Bank Ltd has again on Thursday, October 31, 2019 suffered another blow as it lost once again to COSON in another action brought by the bank before Justice A.M. Liman of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
Justice Liman dismissed the First Bank suit following a motion filed by COSON’s counsel, Mr. James Ononiwu of the Lagos law firm of the Whitedove Solicitors. Mr Ononiwu had asked the court to issue an order dismissing the suit of First Bank for being a horrendous abuse of court process.
The COSON lawyer stated that the exact suit filed by First Bank had already been filed, heard and determined by the High Court of Lagos State, a court of concurrent jurisdiction and that the suit is malicious and vexatious and was filed to stifle, harass and irritate COSON and its officers and to continue with the unlawful seizure by the bank of the funds of COSON.
Asked Mr. Ononiwu, “What is the interest of First Bank in the funds of COSON, its customer? Why is the bank running everywhere hiding under one court or another to continue to hold on to money that does not belong to it?
COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji who was in court when the judge read his decision and awarded cost against First Bank said, “At COSON, we are taking the Nigerian nation through an important civics lesson. Our continuous legal successes ought to open everyone’s eyes to the conspiracy that has been hatched against us. Those who know us well know that we are great believers in the rule of law and the legal system. Our vision is clear and we are patient. We don’t care how many courts they go to, they will suffer the same fate because good will always triumph over evil. If they are trying to break us, they will fail badly. I am confident that those who have conspired to appropriate what belongs to innocent Nigerian musicians will pay a huge price. It’s just a matter of time.
“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 over time. I call on COSON members once again to celebrate and yet be patient. Let the music pay!”