Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court In Ikoyi, Lagos has recommended Mr. Romeo Michael, the counsel representing Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN) to the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee for alleged abuse of court processes.
Earlier in the proceeding, Mr. Michael brought an application seeking to stall judgment of the case, but Justice Buba suo moto ruled against the motion, describing it as a ploy to arrest the day’s business.
In the suit, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) is seeking relief to declare MCSN illegal, unregistered and thus not qualified to collect royalties in behalf of Nigeria musicians.
Speaking before the judgement, COSON chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said regardless of what Justice Buba decides, COSON will not go to sleep.Justice Ibrahim Buba
”We will not go to sleep until we stop the attempt to turn the Nigerian music industry into a gold mine belonging to no one, from where those who have made no investments nor contributions can cart away illicit billions while the true creators and investors languish in penury. Let the whole world know that we will not rest until the Malami MCSN Mafia (MMM), is finally banished from our industry and peace, stability and progress are restored”, he said.
However, Justice Buba held that Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN) is an authorised Collective Management Organisation (CMO) for musical works and sound recordings in Nigeria.
Justice Ibrahim Buba gave the judgement on Tuesday in a suit filed by the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) Ltd seeking to stop MCSN from operating as a CMO.
The judge held that MCSN was validly authorised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to collect royalties on behalf of artistes.
The court also ruled that contrary to COSON’s claim, the NCC is authorised to approve more than one CMO to collect royalties for artistes.
In another instance, Justice Buba held that Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), lawfully directed NCC to withdraw the cases it filed against the MCSN.
He dismissed for want of merit, COSON’s entire suit against first defendant MCSN, second defendant NCC and third defendant, the AGF.
The judgment brings to an end several controversies sorrounding the case.
COSON filed the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1259/2017 last April, seeking a declaration that NCC failed to comply with Section 39(2) (d) of the Copyright Act 2004 and Copyright (CMO) Regulations 2007, when it registered MCSN.
It prayed the court to hold that the registration was thus void “ab initio and of no effect whatsoever.”
It also sought, among others, a perpetual injunction restraining NCC from approving MCSN as a CMO.
This was opposed by the defendants.
Following hearing, judgment in the suit was slated for last December 6, but it was subsequently adjourned till December 14.
However, on December 14, 2017, Justice Buba announced that the case file had been taken from him and that he had no choice but to adjourn the judgment indefinitely.
But on Monday, the parties were notified that judgment would be delivered on Tuesday.