A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos this Wednesday, July 12, 2023, has brought to an end the 5-year-old battle of one Efe Omorogbe to be declared Chairman of Nigeria’s biggest copyright collective management organization, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON). Hon Justice Olayinka Faji of the court in a long-expected decision has dismissed SUIT NO: FHC/L/CS/1779/2018 brought by Efe Omorogbe to be declared Chairman of COSON and stated that the suit is an abuse of court process. Justice Faji also awarded a cost of N750,000.00 against Mr. Omorogbe and his co – plaintiffs which cost he said must be paid within 7 days.

Mr. Omorogbe had been joined in the failed suit by Mr. Obi Asika, Mr. Audu Maikori, Mr. Dare Fasasi, Alhaji Sikiru Agbola and Mr. Joel Ajayi, all former members of the COSON Board. They had asked the court to declare that they were still Directors of COSON. All the plaintiffs were removed from the COSON Board by a COSON Extra- Ordinary General Meeting held in December 2017 which restored Chief Tony Okoroji as Chairman of COSON and removed Efe Omorgbe & Co for allegedly plotting and executing a ‘coup’ to topple the Chairman of COSON from his position.

It will be recalled that another Federal High Court judge sitting in Enugu had before now ordered Mr. Omorogbe to stop parading himself as COSON Chairman, an order which still subsists.

Reacting to the decision of Justice Faji, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, said, “I am of course very happy about another victory at the courts. I wish to thank Justice Faji for his well-reasoned decision. I know that there are friends of COSON who were worried that the disagreements within COSON would lead to the weakening or disintegration of this great private sector Nigerian institution respected internationally. The truth is that subjecting the issues to the examination of the courts has made COSON stronger. The Board is today very stable. The membership has continued to grow. The management is top class and I guarantee that great work will continue to go on at COSON for the benefit of all COSON members and the Nigerian state.

“With the intervention of the courts, the dos and don’ts have become clearer to our industry. We have proven that everyone must pay a price for “jankara” behaviour and that such behaviour has no place in a civilized society. The calm and patient legal steps we have continued to take prove that everyone must follow due process and not react to uncontrolled temperaments. Our continued success shows that there are very good judges in our judiciary and not everyone is corrupt or inefficient. It is critical that the judiciary continues to prevent anarchy in the society. That is one of the great legacies I hope we will leave for the next generation.”

The COSON Board is currently made up of the Chairman and celebrated fighter for the rights of creative people in Africa and former President of PMAN, Chief Tony Okoroji; Afro-Juju Superstar, Sir Shina Peters; Gospel music minister, Kenny Saint Brown; Ace-drummer and producer, Richard Ayodele Cole; Reggae gospel star, Righteousman Erhabor; Showbiz Impresario, Koffi Idowu Nuel also known as Koffi Da Guru; Singer, Producer and TV host, Nimyel Nansel, better known as Zdon Paporella; Vivacious performer and first daughter of the legendry Ras Kimono, Oge Kimono and well-known Enugu based music toaster and publisher, Sir Angus Power Nwangwu.

Also on the Board is the music publisher and war horse of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria (CCRN), Chief Uche Emeka Paul, Gospel Music Minister,
Evangelist Olusegun Omoyayi and National President of Music Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MUPMAN), Engr Sharon Esco Wilson.

COSON was represented at the Federal High Court by Mr. James Ononiwu and Mr. M.H. Obat-emi of Whitedove Solicitors while Mr. Efe Omorogbe and Co were represented by Mr. Oladapo Ademola of AOA Legal & Advocates.


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