BIG COSON BOARD MEETING ENDS IN LAGOS

The full Board of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Nigeria’s biggest and most admired copyright collective management organization, has risen from its meeting held on April 22, 2021 at the Boardroom of the magnificent COSON House in Ikeja.

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At the meeting, the Board requested the general public to discountenance the malicious campaign of falsehood coordinated by the discredited self-acclaimed factional leader of PMAN, Mr. Pretty Okafor and his cronies against COSON and its leadership with their endless stream of nonsensical petitions filled with lies and twisted logic.

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The Board also reaffirmed the commitment of COSON to continue to fully defend the constitutional proprietary rights of its thousands of members across Nigeria within the ambits of the law and to continue to maintain 100% transparency and accountability.

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The Board thanked lawyers to COSON for their muscular defence of the society against the attempt by jobless fraudsters and charlatans to intimidate COSON licensees with security agents, hijack the Nigerian music industry and to turn the industry to their new gold mine and Nigerian musicians to their new “mugus”.

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The Board also directed all COSON lawyers, consultants and licensing officers all over the country to ensure that everyone owing money to COSON for the deployment of musical works and sound recordings in the COSON repertoire be made to pay up forthwith or face full legal consequences.

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The Board re-asserted its full confidence and that of thousands of COSON members across Nigeria, in the leadership of the COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, whom they said, “is a brilliant mind, democratically chosen, tried, tried again, tested, tested again and never found wanting” and thanked him for his unequaled sacrifice in the promotion and defence of the Nigerian creative industry.

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The five hour meeting was attended by practically every member of the Board from across the country including the Afro-Juju superstar and newly ordained Bishop of Cherubim & Seraphim Church, Sir Shina Peters; renowned gospel Minister, Kenny Saint Best; multi-talented MC, comedian and music star, Kofi Da Guru; celebrated drummer and producer, Mr. Richard Ayodele Cole; immediate past National President of the powerful Music Label Owners & Recording Industries Association of Nigeria (MORAN), Hon John Ewelukwa Udegbunam; President of the Music Producers & Marketers Association of Nigeria (MUPMAN), Eng. Sharon Esco Wilson; Gospel Minister, Evangelist Olusegun Omoyayi; music director and immediate past National Coordinator of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria, Chief Uche Emeka Paul, etc.

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The COSON Management was represented at the meeting by the COSON General Manager, Ms. Bernice Eriemeghe, Deputy General Manager, Mr. Vincent Adawaisi and frontline lawyer and COSON General Counsel, Barrister Simi Wash-Pam.

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Fed. High Court Orders IG, EFCC & DSS To Show Cause Over Harassment Of COSON, Its Officials

An Abuja Federal High Court Judge, Justice A.R. Mohammed, has ordered the Inspector-General of Police, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to report to the court on April 7, 2021 and show cause over the alleged continued harassment and disturbance of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Nigeria’s biggest copyright collective management organization, its officers, staff and associates.

The three security agencies together with one Pretty Okafor and Biodun Eguakhidewere ordered to show cause over the alleged continued disturbance and harassment of the COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji; the General Manager, Ms. Bernice Eriemeghe and two other officers of COSON, Mr. Vincent Adawaisi and Ms. Anne Okomi.

The orderof Justice Mohammed is based on a motion ex-parte filed on behalf of COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji, Ms. Bernice Eriemeghe, Mr. Vincent Adawaisi and Ms. Anne Okomi by their lawyer, Mr. James Ononiwu of the Lagos law firm of WhiteDove Solicitors.The motion was argued before Justice Mohammed by Abuja based COSON lawyer, Mr. Bamiyi Adejo.

In the substantive suit, COSON, its Chairman and Management staff are asking the court for a declaration that the Inspector-General of Police, Pretty Okafor, Biodun Eguakide, DSS and EFCC have been engaged in an unlawful, unconstitutional and coordinated brutal, horrendous, wicked, harassment and torture of the plaintiffs who are innocent citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The plaintiffs have asked the court for general damages in the sum of N5,000,000,000.00 (Five billion Naira) jointly and severally against the 1st to 5th Defendants in the suit and a perpetual injunction.

The COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, is also asking for General Damages in the sum of N1,000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira only) against the Inspector-General of Police for defamation of character and the sum of N5,000,000,000.00 (Five Billion Naira only) for the unlawful, unconstitutional and coordinated brutal, horrendous, wicked, harassment and torture of his person.

Chief Okoroji furthermore is demanding General Damages in the sum of N2,000,000,000.00 (2 Billion Naira only) against Stanbic IBTC Bank for the unlawful freezing of his two accounts domiciled in the bank.

It will be recalled that there was a major protest to the Inspector General of Police by significant creative industry personalities over the controversial attempt to abduct Chief Tony Okoroji last December by 5 policemen from Zone 5 Police Command, Benin -City and their plan to drive the celebrated former President of PMAN, syndicated columnist and the continent’s master of copyright, to Benin-City in the middle of the night at a time it was well known that Chief Okoroji has been ill.

Speaking on the development, renowned COSON lawyer, Mr. James Ononiwu said, “this is a big warning to those who believe that at a time when the nation is facing terrible security challenges, they would rather divert the attention of the agencies of state and use them to terrorize innocent citizens and drive a great Nigerian like Chief Tony Okoroji out of town so as to take over the institution he has built. This is pure madness! The harder they come, the harder they will fall. One by one, they will end up in the hole they have dug.”

COSON HOUSE WAS NEVER RAIDED BY POLICE, IT WAS ANOTHER FAKE NEWS!!!

 

Ms. Bernice Eriemeghe, the General Manager, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Nigeria’s biggest copyright collective management organization, has said that the magnificent COSON House in Ikeja was never raided by the police at any time on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 and that there is no reason whatsoever for such a raid as COSON is in no way involved in any kind of shady activity.

Reacting to the publications on social media that COSON House was recently raided and many of the staff arrested, Ms Eriemeghe said, “I am a professional accountant and an internationally trained manager. I will not work in a place where the rules and the law are not followed to the letter. I am exceedingly proud of the standards we have set at COSON and I make bold to say that if every Nigerian organization is managed like COSON, Nigeria will be a great nation. COSON is one of Nigeria’s most audited organizations and we have nothing to hide.

“This social media story is another fake news of the most laughable kind. It is shamefully being promoted by the desperate detractors of the great work that COSON is doing. Of course, we know those behind it, those who are frustrated that the Almighty God has made it impossible for them to take over control of our great institution and milk it and pauperize our members. They are angry that God has stoutly refused to answer their wicked prayers that COSON should crumble.

“This is of course a rehash of the failed attempt to scuttle the December 15, 2020, COSON AGM which at the end of the day was a fantastic and productive meeting streamed live on Zoom to thousands of COSON members across the country who joined the meeting virtually. The jobless detractors failed woefully in December. The jobless detractors have failed woefully again in March and will continue to fail”.

Said Ms. Eriemeghe, “the fact is that I was invited by some police officers to respond to a very childish petition written by one Pretty Okafor, a busy body, who is not even a member of COSON. I went with the COSON lawyer, the very brilliant James Ononiwu of WhiteDove Solicitors. One look at the petition, I started laughing as it is filled with lies, jumbled facts and twisted logic. It took me a very short time to respond to it and after responding to it, I went back to work in my office. To say that I fainted at sighting the juvenile petition is a big joke and a fat lie. For the avoidance of doubt, not even one member of my staff was arrested by the police and work did not stop at COSON House for one minute.

“It has become clear to us, that the tactics of our detractors is to send such juvenile petitions to the different security agencies and use the police, EFCC, DSS, etc to hound us for doing a great job for our nation. Very soon, they will send the Boys Scouts! Maybe they do not know that I am a daughter of a police officer and I know my rights. As a staunch Rotarian, I abide by the “4–Way Test” which is a Rotary International moral code for personal and business relationships. I will not be intimidated by these cheap tactics of fraudsters”.

Concluded the General Manager of COSON, “it is well known that following the commissioning of the magnificent COSON House, the only real property fully owned by the Nigerian entertainment industry, all manner of people became envious of COSON. The restless Pretty Okafor started spreading falsehood to tarnish the name of Chief Tony Okoroji, the Chairman of the COSON Board, a celebrated former President of PMAN and the continent’s undisputed master of copyright. Chief Okoroji took Pretty Okafor to the High Court of Lagos State for defamation of character and won re-soundly. Today, Pretty Okafor is a judgment debtor to Chief Tony Okoroji. Rather than pay his debt, Okafor, his cohorts and social media co-travellers are running around trying to use security agents to harass his judgment creditor and harass the institution he leads. What a shame! Anybody who knows Chief Tony Okoroji will tell you that the strategy of the

VICTOR UWAIFO AT 80 WINS GRAND COPYRIGHT MEDAL OF HONOUR

Prof. Victor Uwaifo receiving The COSON Grand Copyright Medal of Honour from

the COSON Chairman and Kenny St Brown a member of the COSON Board

The great lyricist, melody maker, multi-instrumentalist, sculptor, designer, performer per excellence and intellectual giant, Prof. Victor Uwaifo was on Saturday March 6 in Benin-City decorated with the “Grand Copyright Medal of Honour”, the first time anyone anywhere has been so decorated.

The decoration was the climax of the big celebration of Prof Uwaifo’s 80th birthday which attracted the high and mighty to Uwaifo’s Superstar Highgate on Victor Uwaifo Avenue, Ekewan/College Road, Benin City.

Before the decoration, there was a documentary on the life of the all-round creative genius and the presentation of a 600 page biography of the great Nigerian, authored by Prof. Muyiwa Peter Awodiya.

The presentation of a plaque and decoration with the Grand Copyright Medal of Honour was done by the celebrated former President of the Performing Musicians’ Association of Nigeria (PMAN) and current Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji. Chief Okoroji was supported by the gospel minister and COSON Board member, Kenny Saint Brown (KSB).

Said Chief Okoroji during the celebration, “I have had the privilege of presenting the Copyright Medal of Honour to a few very distinguished Nigerians and an international personage but not once have we presented the Grand Copyright Medal of Honour to anyone, anywhere. Today will be the first time ever because in every way the gentleman standing next to me has created history in so many-many ways. He has been in the battle for the respect for intellectual property in Nigeria not apologizing to anyone, not giving a hoot to what anybody says but leaving a lasting legacy for our nation. It is my honour and privilege today with my colleague representing the Board, the Management and thousands of members of Copyright Society of Nigeria all over the world to honour you and decorate you with the Grand Copyright Medal of Honour”

At the event blessed by the Catholic Arch-Bishop of Benin, Most Reverend Augustin Obiora Akubueze, were several traditional rulers, professors and academic dons, from across the nation, businessmen and, politicians. Also present were representatives of several institutions attended by the legend, such as the University of Benin, Yaba College of Technology, Western Boys High School, St Gregory’s College, Lagos, etc. There was also a bevy of media representatives at the event in which Prof Uwaifo performed a widely applauded version of his evergreen hit song and first African gold disc winner, Joromi with the audience singing along and his guitar spinning wildly.

Prof Victor Uwaifo who is easily the most educated and academically decorated performing artiste in the world, has been invited to the State House by four Presidents and Heads of State of Nigeria and has been the recipient of several national and international awards. In 1997, he was awarded the Certificate of Honor by the House of Representatives, Boston Massachusetts. He is documented in the Groove Dictionary of Music and Musicians Vol. 8. He is also documented in the Men and Women of Distinction in the Commonwealth, 1983. He has been presented with a Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) Degree (Honoris) by the University of Benin, the Benin National Merit Award, the University of Benin Distinguished Alumnus Award and the National Honour of Member of the Order of the Niger by the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In 2010, Prof. Victor Uwaifo was one of the select Nigerians awarded the fellowship of the Nigerian Academy of Letters at a grand event at the University of Lagos.

Victor Uwaifo who served as Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism in Edo State of Nigeria between 2001 and 2003 was born on the 1st of March 1941 in Benin City. He attended Western Boys High School in his hometown and later, St Gregory’s College, Lagos. He subsequently proceeded to Yaba College of Technology, Lagos from where he obtained a National Art Diploma with distinction and shone as an outstanding athlete. He received a B.A Hons, First Class, Fine and Applied Arts from the University of Benin and a Masters’ Degree in Sculpting from the same university. He also obtained a Ph.D Architectural Sculpture from the same university where he has been a Professor for several years.

“PRETTY OKAFOR TO BE SLAMMED WITH HEAVY LAW SUIT HE WILL NOT FIND PRETTY” – COSON LAWYER

Barr James Ononiwu

Renowned lawyer to Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Mr. James Ononiwu of the Lagos based Whitedove Solicitors, has said that the recently published fabrications by the very quarrelsome and self-styled factional President of PMAN, Mr. Pretty Okafor, circulated on social media, are based on blatant falsehood, incurable desire to be relevant, burning envy and malice of the worst kind and that the statements are defamatory of COSON and Chief Tony Okoroji and deserve to be fully confronted and will be confronted.

Mr. Ononiwu said that it is very well known that COSON is a very transparent organization that does not deal in any criminal or shady activities. He said that everybody is reminded that the ground-breaking copyright royalty agreement between COSON and Multichoice Nigeria is not a secret agreement but a well-publicized advancement of the Nigerian copyright system celebrated with a big event at Lagos Oriental Hotel with many frontline journalists present.

Ononiwu further said that all payments made by Multichoice Nigeria to COSON for use of works in the COSON repertoire is 100% legal and have been fully disclosed in every relevant audited accounts of COSON, a copy of which is sent every year to each of the thousands of members of COSON and filed with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

Mr. Ononiwu is of the opinion that the incurably noisy Pretty Okafor may still be dazed by the significant victory Chief Tony Okoroji recently dealt him in the widely reported judgment delivered by Hon Justice A.A. Oyebanji of the High Court of Lagos State. Said Ononiwu, “this character who deludes himself by behaving as if he is above the law would not have forgotten that there is a restraining court order against him from further defamation of the character of Chief Tony Okoroji and that he is still a judgment debtor to Chief Okoroji. Ononiwu advised all those publishing Pretty Okafor’s reckless defamatory statements to refrain from further doing so as they may expose themselves to legal action.

It will be recalled that Pretty Okafor and two of his acolytes in 2018 went to the Federal High Court to shut down the bank accounts of COSON. What was the eventual result? Justice M.S. Hassan of the Federal High Court on February 6, 2019 struck out Okafor’s suit saying that he came to court with misleading facts and the matter was an abuse of court process. As a result, Pretty Okafor and Co are currently defending an application for N400 Million Naira in damages against them.

Mr. James Ononiwu, the COSON lawyer has vowed that if Pretty Okafor does not publish an unreserved public apology to the members of COSON and Chief Tony Okoroji within two weeks, he would be slammed with a new and hefty lawsuit, the kind he would not find pretty at all. Said Mr. Ononiwu, “this character must be made to understand that Nigeria is a nation of laws and he cannot just open his mouth and vomit any nonsense and make any unsubstantiated allegations any time he feels like. Let it be clear that Okafor will not be allowed to spread his outright fabrications which are the baseless figments of the imagination of a sick man”.

Mr. Ononiwu reaffirmed the fact that COSON which is by far Nigeria’s biggest copyright collective management organization with membership across the length and breadth of the Nigerian nation, continues to operate as a full-fledged corporate entity representing millions of musical works and sound recordings assigned to it by its thousands of members in Nigeria through legally executed Deeds of Assignment or by legal agreements entered into with more than 100 Collective Management Organizations around the world.

 

Said Mr. Ononiwu, “We are not unaware that there is a group of hungry and greedy charlatans desperate to get their hands on COSON because COSON is the one successful organization in the nation’s copyright industry. The hunger in the land is driving them crazy but COSON is strong enough to take them on!”

Mr. Ononiwu concluded by repeating questions he had asked before: “where are the audited accounts of Pretty Okafor’s ramshackle PMAN which shamelessly operates from no fixed address? Who audited the Okafor PMAN books? When were they filed with the Registrar of Trade Unions? When did the Registrar approve the returns? Indeed, how many people are parading themselves as PMAN President in Nigeria?”

Said Mr. Ononiwu, “Pretty Okafor may in the past have escaped with talking without discipline and self-control and not facing any consequences. This time, this meddlesome interloper who is not even a member of COSON and has no worthwhile repertoire assigned to COSON will be told that Nigeria is a nation of laws and he will be made to pay heavily for his outrageous behavior”

 

OKOROJI PROMISES MEMBERS OF COSON A GREAT 2021

Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman COSON

Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji, has promised members of COSON that they will witness a great year in 2021. In his New Year message to the society, Chief Okoroji thanked the members of COSON across the nation, the Board and the entire management of the society for their unflinching determination to ensure that COSON is not damaged but continues to be a great example of how a creative industry organization should be run.

Chief Okoroji assured all members of COSON that the organization will robustly protect their interests in 2021 and carry out the instructions of the General Assembly to restore the rights of every genuine member of COSON to receive royalties from the society and work relentlessly towards increasing the distributable income to members and affiliates. Said Okoroji, “In 2021, the COSON mantra, ‘let the music pay!’ will be heard loudly across the nation and in affirmation, people will bear witness in the famous words, ‘COSON is working!’.

The Chairman vowed to do everything in his power to make sure that COSON continues to be an exemplary Nigerian organization, maintaining complete transparency and accountability and safeguarding the culture of respect for intellectual property rights which it has vigorously promoted in Nigeria.     

In the words of Chief Okoroji, “Yes, the terrain is rough, so we are tough. The more they have tried to scatter us, the more they have bonded us together. As long as what we are doing is right, we cannot give up. The fact that arrows are being fired at us by those who have nothing to offer and nothing to give to our stakeholders, should make us stronger. Those of us charged with providing leadership to our great society cannot be lily-livered or cowardly. On the long run, we will be judged by the results we produce. We must be ready to make any sacrifice and take any bullet and earn the confidence reposed in us. We cannot afford just to be talkers. We must be doers driving on a full tank of faith”.

According to Okoroji, his optimism in the strong possibilities in COSON in the new year is based on the fact that most of the critical issues have been litigated, COSON has remained solid as a rock and decisions that should affect the direction of collective management of copyright in Nigeria ought to come in 2021.

According to the former president of PMAN and respected author of ‘Copyright & the New Millionaires’, “for most of 2020, we marched with the issues to the courts and with our lawyers, systematically and diligently argued our positions with the facts and the law. I verily believe that in 2021, the courts will remove the obstacles that have limited the sustainable growth of collective management of copyright in Nigeria resulting in measurable positive impact on the lives of practitioners in the Nigerian creative industry”

Chief Okoroji wished members of COSON and their families good health and progress in 2021 and concluded by saying, “Everybody in Nigeria by now knows that even with all the shackles and obstacles placed on our way, COSON has, year after year, remained by far the No. 1 organization in the Nigerian creative industry, with no help whatsoever from the government, a position that makes all of us members of COSON very proud”.

Flags Fly At Half Mast At COSON House For Iconic Music Star Majek Fashek Who Just Passed On

All flags at COSON House in Ikeja, the headquarters of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), are now flying at half mast in celebration of the life of Nigeria’s iconic reggae singer and frontline member of COSON, Majek Fashek, who passed on in New York in the evening of the 1st of June.

A condolence register has also been opened at the reception of COSON House for all those who want to pay tribute to the memory of this unique Nigerian artiste to do so. Also, videos of the remarkable performances of Majek Fashek are playing on the various video screens at COSON House.

 

Speaking on the passing of the reggae legend, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, “In various ways, we will celebrate the life of this incredibly talented Nigerian. I hope that before the day is over, I will speak with Randy, his son who lives in New York. We have to deal with the time difference between Lagos and New York and we will make the necessary announcements.

 

“Everyone knows that Majek Fashek was not just my colleague. He was my friend. He stood by my side and supported me from head to toe over many years. We have shared many memorable moments together. His passing on tears at my heart but I am consoled by the fact that there is no need to immortalize Majek Fashek. He has immortalized himself through his unforgettable songs and lyrics. We will celebrate Majek Fashek to inspire the young people in the creative family”

 

“There is almost nothing that COSON has done that Majek Fashek did not fully participate in. He was 100% dedicated to the COSON cause. Majek was not just a COSON member by name. He was a COSON member in his heart and indeed. All COSON members across Nigeria and all of our staff at COSON House which he visited regularly, will greatly miss this Nigerian of incomparable talent, the great “rain maker”. Since yesterday, it has been raining across the nation. It has to as the great Rainmaker transits. It is said that Rastas never die. I take it that my brother, friend and colleague, the iconic Majek Fashek has not died, He has travelled and one day, we will join and make music together”

10 Years of the COSON Experience: Thank You Everyone For Your Support

On this 20th day of May 2020, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the official take-off of the operations of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) which has become Nigeria’s must successful and most admired copyright collective management organization.

When we began our journey on May 20, 2010, very few people gave us any chance of success. We had been told, over and over again, that collective management of copyright would never work in Nigeria and that the Nigerian creative industry lacked the discipline to build the stable and complex institution required to make collective management a success. With very focused leadership and fired up by our slogan, “let the music pay!”, COSON has broken that tough jinx and has built an institution that works.
From Day 1, we have kept strictly to every rule in the book and complied with every law of our nation. For ten years, we never missed one Annual General Meeting and every year, we have had our AGM in the month of May, the month we celebrate our take-off. At each of our AGMs, we have invited a cross section of the media to follow and report our very open discussions and deliberations. Transparency has been our watchword and we had our meetings in the open because at COSON we have never had anything to hide. Indeed, apart from the statutorily prescribed Annual General Meeting, we also held an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting every December at which our members had an open opportunity to discuss every issue. The COSON Board had fixed a date for the 2020 COSON Annual General Meeting this May in the COSON tradition. Unfortunately, because of the COVID 19 restrictions, the AGM would have to be held on another date.
Without the prompting of anyone, the COSON accounts have been audited every single year by auditors appointed by our Annual General Meetings as required by the Companies & Allied Matters Act (CAMA). We have had the audited accounts reviewed and approved by our AGM as required by law and filed each annual return with the Corporate Affairs Commission and sent an activity report made up of hundreds of pages every year to the NCC. Without any question, COSON has been the most transparent and accountable organization in the history of the Nigerian creative industry.
When the COSON House was commissioned exactly three years ago, a lot of people were surprised that there was not one Naira of government money in the acquisition and construction of this magnificent building, no donor dollar or pound came from anywhere and that we acquired, built and equipped COSON House with no bank loan and no debt of any type. COSON has never received any money from the government.
For ten years, except for one month, the month of December 2018 when all the COSON bank accounts were mysteriously frozen without notice, not one of the highly trained staff of COSON has received his or her salary one day late. It is also a fact that no COSON member has ever paid any registration fee, monthly dues or subscription of any type to COSON yet every COSON member is entitled to some income from us every year.
In its ten years of operation, COSON has distributed hundreds of millions of Naira as royalties to its members and affiliates. In April 2020, even with the major bank accounts of COSON still frozen and the issues in court, COSON in a responsive and responsible manner reacted to the suffering of its thousands of members across the country under the pressure of the COVID 19 lockdown. The society became the first Nigerian institution to provide such palliatives to its members at a time of great need. At first, =N=50 million was approved by the COSON Board for this purpose. An additional =N=22.5 million was later approved. The distribution has been done in a very structured, professional and transparent manner which has been widely celebrated by members of COSON.
We are very proud of the success that COSON has achieved which is a product of the leadership’s laser focused dedication to defending the interest and welfare of our members and the deft management of our resources.
Unfortunately, the COSON outstanding success also became our albatross. As it has become clear that we have broken the jinx and built an organization which across the continent is being celebrated, several midnight plots and gang-ups began to emerge. All kind of plots have been hatched to hijack for a few people COSON which we have built as a pan-Nigerian organization to provide succor to all owners of musical works and sound recordings in every nook and cranny of the Nigerian nation. All kinds of false stories have been manufactured and spread to tarnish the image of our great organization. Fortunately, despite all the stones thrown at COSON, our organization continues to stand firm. Despite the many attempts to derail COSON, our organization continues to stand strong, proving the fact that the Nigerian creative industry finally has an institution with roots strong enough to withstand the rascality that has caused our industry great instability and destroyed creative industry institutions in our country.
This success is not just due to the leadership but also to the membership which has overwhelmingly shown unflinching support to COSON and those of our licensees and partners who have continued to pledge their faith in COSON.
As we commence a new stage of our journey, COSON has announced key changes in the management of the society with Ms. Bernice Eriemeghe, a well-trained and experienced professional accountant taking over as General Manager from Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji. This transition has been done in a very friendly manner with strong camaraderie and warmth, once again proving the maturity of the leadership available to COSON.
Going forward, the COSON Board has directed the management team to be laser focused on making COSON a first class international organization driven by data, digital technology, transparency and accountability with the clear objective being the happiness and well-being of our members and other stakeholders.
I have no doubt that once again we will deliver and make the members of COSON proud. We will also make all Nigerians who appreciate good things in our country happy.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you.
CHIEF TONY OKOROJI
Chairman, COSON
May 20, 2020

COSON Lawyer Describes MCSN Attack Of COSON’s Covid-19 N50m Palliatives to Musicians As Wicked.

 

Mr. James Ononiwu, renowned lawyer to COSON, Nigeria’s biggest and most successful copyright collective management organization, has stoutly condemned the recent attack by the leadership of Musical Copyright Society Nigeria (MCSN), of the ongoing distribution of =N=50 Million Naira by COSON to musicians across the country who are traumatized by the Coronavirus lockdown.

 

In a swift response to the attack, Mr. James Ononiwu. Principal Partner in the Lagos law firm of Whitedove Solicitors, described the attack as “wicked, despicable and evidence of incurable bad belle”

 

Mr. Ononiwu wondered how any musician or anyone who claims to love musicians can find fault with the responsible and responsive action taken by the leadership of COSON to alleviate the suffering of their members across the country at a time of their greatest need. Said Mr. Ononiwu, “the unquestionably positive reactions of hundreds of musicians and thousands of other Nigerians to the brilliant step taken by the COSON Board can be found on every social media platform and practically every newspaper in the land. Many musicians in every state of Nigeria are happy and openly praying for the leadership of COSON. Why is that disturbing the sleep of these funny people at MCSN? Did COSON distribute MCSN money? This is not the first or second or third royalty distribution by COSON, an organization that has distributed hundreds of millions of naira to its members and commissioned the sparkling and magnificent COSON House while MCSN has little or nothing to show except never ending bad belle. Can’t the people at MCSN see that this is no time for their degenerate brand of politics? What is the business of a CMO if not to collect and distribute royalties?”

 

Said the fiery Lagos lawyer, “This a defining moment in the affairs of man. Across the world, true leaders are being seen for who they are and retrogrades are also being seen. COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, has once again displayed the attributes of a first-class leader that has made him a Nigerian icon. His understanding of the situation, his humanness, decisiveness and the detailed and transparent execution of the relief distribution will certainly go down in the history of the Nigerian creative industry and the nation.

 

“Meanwhile, the leaders of MCSN who were sleeping while Nigerians have been going through a harrowing experience, suddenly woke up from their slumber and kick started their usual grumbling and quarreling and finger pointing and rabble rousing while people are in deep pain. Can’t they see that this is no time for such nonsense? Don’t these guys know when to shut up? Don’t they have any milk of human kindness in them at all? I know that thousands of musicians across Nigeria have received their royalties while some have not. I wish to assure every COSON member who is yet to receive his relief royalty that MCSN cannot stop the distribution and that their money is on the way”

 

In conclusion, Mr. Ononiwu said, “I have seen the litany of cases mentioned in the ill-advised press statement issued by the leadership of MCSN and their jaundiced and self-serving reasoning and claims. I am a lawyer and I know that in Nigeria, we do not try cases on social media platforms or blogs. If these guys who have shown no modicum of empathy for the suffering of the musicians they claim to represent, truly believe that COSON has done something wrong, let them meet us in court. I and other COSON lawyers will be waiting for them”.

BREAKING! Musicians Get N50 Million Coronavirus Relief From COSON To Cushion Lockdown Effects

Starting from Tuesday evening, thousands of musicians across the country would receive bank alerts as Anti-Corona Emergency Relief Distribution from COSON, Nigeria’s biggest and most respected copyright collective management organization. The distribution is in reaction to the hardship and distress being faced by many musicians in Nigeria who have been affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the current lockdown which has also stopped entertainment activities across the country.

 

For the distribution, the COSON Board has approved the sum of 50 Million Naira to be shared amongst about 4,500 members on the society’s register as at May 19, 2019.

 

In the midst of the current crisis and following several S.O.S. messages from COSON members facing deep hardship all over the nation, the COSON Board over the weekend, met online in an emergency session and after vigorous discussions, approved the distribution.

 

Speaking on the development, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, “I have personally received calls from several members of COSON who are desperate for immediate assistance of any kind. Other members of our Board have received similar messages. At a time like this, COSON must be responsible and responsive to the needs of our members and we should do everything we can to help them wade through these hard times. That is the very reason why COSON was set up. I am proud of the quick response of members of the COSON Board who showed great understanding that we must be our brothers’ keeper at a time like this.

 

“Starting immediately, with the co-operation of the banks, each qualified member of COSON will receive a modest sum of eleven thousand naira in what we have termed Anti-Coronavirus Emergency Relief (ACER) General Distribution. We are able to do this because of the deft management of our resources. We wish we could do more. I however believe that most people are aware of what we have been through in recent times. Let me thank the COSON management team of Vincent Adawaisi, Isa Aruna and Anthony Imuse who burnt the midnight oil to ensure that the decision of the Board is executed with dispatch”.

 

On outstanding Specific Distributions, the COSON Chairman said, “Every member of the Board is very eager that all outstanding specific distributions should be paid without any delay. The issue was prominent in our discussions on the emergency relief distribution. While the Board and the General Assembly have approved the specific distributions, it is common knowledge that COSON funds in two banks are frozen. The money for the specific distributions is domiciled in the frozen accounts. The money is safe. Not one Naira is missing. It is also common knowledge that we have gone to court to have the accounts unfrozen and immediately that happens, the money will be paid. In any case, all those entitled to Specific distribution will also receive the Anti-Coronavirus Emergency Relief (ACER) General Distribution.

 

“It is unfortunate that it is some of our colleagues that requested the banks to freeze the accounts which has brought this suffering to innocent COSON members and even to those who took the action. That is why we need to be very careful about what we say and what we do.”

 

“I hope that we will use this very challenging period to think deeply. We have built COSON to be there for musicians through thick and thin. We work hard to ensure that COSON takes care of musicians while they are alive and celebrates them even in death. Has anyone forgotten how in an unprecedented manner we buried the late Ras Kimono like a king?

 

Said the COSON Chairman, “Some people may think that because things are going well for them today, they will never need COSON. I have been in the industry long enough to know that the day will come when each of us needs an institution like COSON. When I hear people in our industry call on government to clamp down on COSON or that those who owe us money should not pay us, I ask why anyone would choose to urinate into a well from which he might soon draw water to drink when he is desperately thirsty”

 

Concluded Chief Okoroji, “I know that I cannot please everyone but I am working hard every day to lift up the musicians of Nigeria, promote and defend our industry and provide visible solutions to the problems of each of us. I have absolutely no interest in the cantankerous name calling and rabid character assassination which many appear to dwell in and which do not provide even one cup of garri for any Nigerian artiste or one cube of Maggi for his pot of soup”.