The full Board of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Nigeria’s biggest copyright collective management organization, has risen from its meeting at the Boardroom of COSON House in Ikeja, this Tuesday, June 6, 2023 celebrating, toasting, singing and praising God at the exit from office of senior officers of the federal government who sought to hijack the rights of the musicians of Nigeria during the tenure of the immediate past government.
The Board noted the unprecedented war waged against COSON for several years and the misuse and abuse of Nigerian law and enforcement agencies in a never-ending attempt to cripple COSON, Nigeria’s most successful privately built creative industry institution and to appropriate the income that rightly belongs to thousands of musicians and music industry operatives across Nigeria.
According to the Board, the fact that these officers are gone, and COSON remains strong should embolden all those everywhere committed to the fight for truth and justice and serve as a warning to all those who hold temporary positions of power and authority that the day will come when they will also be gone, and the history of their tenure will be written.
The Board applauded COSON members across the country for their steadfast and unflinching support of the COSON leadership in the midst of the lawless assault on their organization and its leadership by compromised officers of the state and 419 agents deploying state apparatus.
The Board also resolved that it be emphatically made public that COSON has not at any time ceded the rights to licence any of the hundreds of thousands of musical works and sound recordings lawfully assigned to it, to the controversial MCSN whose purported approval during the tenure of the last government is still being stoutly challenged in court and restate that no one is empowered to authorize MCSN to licence works in the COSON repertoire which are constitutionally private property and that anyone paying MCSN for the use of works in the COSON repertoire is doing so at his or her own very high risk.
The board, on behalf of all its members who have assigned their copyright to COSON also resolved that the controversial MCSN be formally notified of the opting out of all such members from the management of their rights by MCSN.
The Board expressed the optimism that with the new environment, the opportunity has arisen for persons and institutions in the creative sector to genuinely work for the good of the nation and the welfare of the practitioners, assuring that COSON is ready to engage meaningfully with every institution of government whose interest is the pursuit of progress for the creative people of Nigeria and not the pursuit of primordial and narrow personal interests.
The meeting resolved that COSON members across the country, COSON partners across the world and the general public be informed that the determination of COSON to protect and defend the rights of its members and affiliates remains iron-clad and that COSON will not waiver in the pursuit of justice. The Board restated its commitment to making certain that every naira of royalty owed the members of COSON is collected and distributed appropriately within the shortest possible time.
The Board also expressed pride that COSON remains the only organization in the history of the Nigerian creative industry that has subjected itself to full financial audit every year since its inception and has gone ahead to subject itself to total forensic audit by one of the best- known auditing firms in the world.
The Board reaffirmed the determination of COSON to remain an agent of strength unity, progress and growth for the music industry in Nigeria.
The Board meeting was presided over by the COSON Chairman and celebrated fighter for the rights of creative people in Nigeria and Africa and former President of PMAN, Chief Tony Okoroji. Present were 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 present were Abuja based music publisher and war horse of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria (CCRN), Chief Uche Emeka Paul, Gospel Music Minister, Evangelist Olusegun Omoyayi, National President of Music Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MUPMAN), Engr Sharon Esco Wilson, COSON General Manager, Mrs Bernice Eriemeghe Ashibuogwu and COSON Deputy General Manager, Mr Vincent Adawaisi.