The Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), has slammed a lawsuit of N10 billion on Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) for alleged unlawful suspension.
According to a statement signed by COSON’s spokesperson, Tolulope Balogun, the lawsuit was to seek damages of N8 billion and N2 billion, respectively.
“COSON had gone to the Federal High Court to seek damages of eight billion naira from the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), for the undemocratic, unlawful and unconstitutional suspension of the approval and operating license of the plaintiff.
“Also there is another two billion naira for the significant loss of reputation and goodwill suffered by the plaintiff.
“This is arising from the massive publicity sustained by the NCC against COSON following the undemocratic, unlawful and unconstitutional suspension of the approval and operating license of the Plaintiff and the unlawful directive that the bank accounts of the plaintiff be frozen,” Mr Balogun said.
He said the 63 paragraphs Statement of Claim in suit No FHC/L/CS/425/2020 was filed a Lagos lawyer, James Ononiwu of Whitedove Solicitors.
In the suit, COSON averred that it was a fact that the Copyright Act in Section 39 (2) gave the Defendant the power to approve collecting societies.
“However, nowhere under the law is the NCC given the power to suspend, revoke or in any way restrict the approval given to a collecting society or embark on an audit of a collecting society or direct the freeze/restriction of the bank accounts of a collecting society without an order of court.” the statement read.
COSON, in the statement said that the NCC had become a monster deploying the wide powers it has unlawfully assumed to decimate the stakeholders it was set up to protect.
COSON added that by NCC’s actions, the commission has been the law maker, the accuser, the judge and the jury in its own case without COSON being offered any opportunity for fair hearing.