A Federal High Court Lagos will on March 29 hear a copyright infringement suit slammed on popular Nollywood actress, Omoni Oboli, over the production of a film, “Okafor’s Law’’.
A company — Rancoteur Productions Ltd — had on March 24 filed an ex parte application on behalf of a Canada-based script writer, Mr Jude Idada, seeking an order to halt the premiere of the film scheduled for March 31.
Joined as first to third defendants in the suit are Dioni Visions Entertainment, Omoni Oboli, and The Filmore Ltd.
The suit filed by Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN) is seeking an order, stopping the premiere and release of the film — “Okafor’s Law” — pending the determination of the suit.
The plaintiff also asked for an Anton Piller order (order to enter and seize) to enter into the premises of the defendant to seize all copies of infringing materials, pending the determination of the suit.
On March 24, Justice Ibrahim Buba, had granted the application and issued an Anton Piller order, directing the seizure of all copies, materials, projections or infringing materials, relating to the subject matter.
The court also issued an interim order, suspending the release and launch of the film, in any movie theatre or cinema house on March 31, pending the determination of a motion on notice before the court.
Buba, in his ruling on the ex parte moved by Mrs O. Otudor, granted the orders and consequently made the following orders: “An order of interim injunction, restraining the first to third defendants, whether by themselves or their privies, from premiering the feature film “Okafor’s Law”, in Lagos or any part of Nigeria, pending the hearing of the motion on notice.
“An order of interim injunction, restraining the defendant from releasing the featured film in any movie theatre or Cinema house on March 31, pending the hearing of the motion on notice.
“An order of interim injunction, restraining the defendants from distributing the featured film, pending the determination of the motion on notice.
“An Anton piller order is granted to the plaintiff to enter into the defendant’s premises, cinema, studio and other places of dissemination to seize all copies of infringing materials relating to subject matter.
“An order directing the defendants to deliver and surrender to the plaintiff’s solicitors, all products and packages with the inscription, “Okafor’s Law” and volume of transaction or trade which have been done by defendants.
““An order directing the defendants to permit the court’s bailiff and such other persons not exceeding four to enter the premises on any working day of Monday to Saturday at 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. to remove all products or packages with the name — Okafor’s Law.
“An order for a search to be conducted at Viva Heights Odudu Eleyiwo St, Block 15, plot 17 Oniru Victoria Island, and Plot 1378D Joseph Namah Close, off Karimu Kotun St, Victoria Island, and all other places where Okafor’s Law is stored and sold.
“An order declaring that a failure of defendants to comply with the court’s order will put the plaintiff at liberty to apply for committal to prison of such person.”
The court then fixed March 29 for hearing of the motion on notice.
The movie — “Okafor’s Law” — was billed for premiere on March 24, but the court’s order was however, served on the defendants on the evening of March 24 shortly before the movie’s premiere at the IMAX Cinema in Lagos.
The order had consequently clogged the premiering of the debut movie as well as its release and launch scheduled to hold on March 31.
Jude Idada had accused Oboli of copyright infringement on the “Okafor’s Law” movie, adding that she stole his story idea for the movie in September 2016.
He alleged that Oboli took the work he had done regarding “Okafor’s Law” and developed it without giving him due credit.
He avers that the producer, however, went ahead to set March 31 as a release date for the movie in spite of a demand letter sent to her as well as a copyright infringement suit instituted.
“Okafor’s Law” stars are Richard Mofe Damijo, Toyin Aimakhu, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Ken Erics, Yvonne Jegede, Halima Abubakar, Gabriel Afolayan, Funke Bucknor, among other Nollywood actors and actresses.
Oboli is a popular Nollywood Producer, actress, Director and scriptwriter.