Law & Policy, Music Business

COSON Sues Efe Omoregbe Over Promoting himself as New Chairman of COSON

The infighting at COSON between Toni Okoroji (Chairman of COSON) and Efe Omoregbe (alleged new Chairman of COSON) and select board members continues and it is incredibly sad to see the mission of the organization appear derailed at the expense of artists. If you missed the back story, catch up with the following links below.

In the meantime, here is the latest update on this messy situation.

COSON Infighting: Should Efe Omoregbe resign from the board to protect the organization’s reputation?

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Note that the statements below are from COSON. The links above have Efe’s view on the issue and why he believes he is now the chairman of COSON.

-Ms. Uduak

COSON SUES EFE OMOROGBE: ASKS THAT HE STOPS PARADING HIMSELF AS AN OFFICER OF COSON OR CHAIRMAN

Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has gone to court against a former member of its Board, Mr. Efe Omorogbe.

In the suit No ID/4827/GCMW18 filed on behalf of COSON by Mr. James Ononiwu of Whitedove Solicitors, the society has asked for an injunction restraining Mr. Efe Omorogbe from parading himself as Chairman of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON).

COSON has also requested from the court an injunction restraining Mr. Omorogbe whether by himself, servant, privy or agent from calling or convening any meeting by whatever name, be it board meeting, general meeting, etc, at any location whether in Lagos or anywhere in the country or outside the country in the name of Copyright Society of Nigeria.

The action which has COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji as joint claimant is supported by a 16 paragraph sworn statement deposed to by the General Manager of COSON, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji.

Commenting on the development, Afro Juju superstar and COSON Board member, Sir Shina Peters said, “there is no well-meaning person in the Nigerian creative community who is not proud of COSON, an organization that has been managed with the level of professionalism and sophistication previously thought impossible in Nigeria.

“The quality of leadership provided to COSON by our Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, has resulted in phenomenal growth in the society. It is sad that those who were too busy to dedicate their time to COSON suddenly have a lot of time for the organization. They want to hijack COSON, suck it dry and kill it the same way PMAN was killed after Okoroji had built PMAN into a big national institution.

“The members of COSON across Nigeria, the Board, our management, consultants, reciprocal representation partners across the world and very many young Nigerians are united and resolute that what happened to PMAN will not happen to COSON. COSON is a legacy we will bestow on the next generation of Nigerian artistes. We are 100% in support of Chief Tony Okoroji, an uncommon Nigerian who has dedicated an entire lifetime to ensure respect for the Nigerian creative community. We trust him. Can’t everybody see that the more they try to destroy Okoroji, the more his profile grows? I want to assure everyone that despite the concerted attack on COSON from well-known quarters, COSON continues to work and work very well. I remain very proud of COSON”.

EFE OMOROGBE’S DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO TAKE OVER COSON FAILS WOEFULLY

Despite a court action recently filed by Copyright Society of Nigeria COSON asking Efe Omorogbe, a former member of the COSON Board to stop parading himself as an officer or Chairman of COSON, Efe Omorogbe on Tuesday March 6, 2017 stormed COSON House in Ikeja with some of his cohorts, bouncers and gang apparently in a desperate attempt to take over control of COSON House. In stout defence of the society, the staff locked him out of the building and neither Omorogbe nor his bouncers could gain entry.

In the days before, Omorogbe had sent e-mails to the General Manager of COSON, Mr Chinedu Chukwuji asking him to call board meetings that Mr. Omorogbe would chair. In his reply, Mr. Chukwuji wrote to him that the Management of COSON could not accede to his request as they do not recognize him as Chairman of COSON.

The full text of Mr. Chukwuji’s mail to Efe Omorogbe is hereby reproduced as follows

“Your email titled “Repeated Acts of Insubordination” is hereby acknowledged.

“You will recall that after December 7, 2017, when Chief Tony Okoroji was said to have been removed as chairman and replaced by you, the entire Management of COSON gave you our total and unalloyed support. On December 19, 2017 when the general assembly at the Extra Ordinary General Meeting, annulled the decision of the Board in exercise of its powers, the Management had no choice but to revert to Chief Tony Okoroji as Chairman.

“We were both present at the EGM. The collective will of the members of COSON was very clear on that day irrespective of any presumed technicality anyone might introduce.

“As much as possible, the COSON Management has been very careful in the running of the organization in the midst of the recent developments in a very professional manner. As professionals, we cannot pick sides in the matter. Our function, is simply to follow the rules as we understand them.

“To ask us to obey you and disobey the hundreds of COSON members from the whole country who attended the EGM will be very unfair. Nobody needs to be told that obeying such directive will only lead to chaos.

“We are law-abiding citizens and you very well know that the matter regarding you as chairman is currently in court under judicial consideration and therefore prohibited from public discussions (sub judice). The position of COSON Management is fairness and equity. Anyone dissatisfied with the decision of the members of COSON on December 19, 2017 should go to the court of law and resolve the issues there.

“In the interest of the organisation, it may be difficult to accede to your request to call a board meeting at your instance after the consensus reached by COSON members at the Extra Ordinary General Meeting of December 19, 2017.

“We are constrained to take this position because in the organs of the society, the General Assembly (People) is supreme”.

Neither Chief Tony Okoroji, the Chairman of COSON nor Mr. Chukwuji, the General Manager were in COSON House when Efe Omorogbe arrived with his gang.

_________

I have been informed that Mr.   Efe Omorogbe and his group have asked me to take over as Acting General Manager of COSON.

I am a woman of honour and I hereby say ‘No’ to what I consider a Greek gift and a scheme that will result in divide and rule. My colleagues and I in the Management of COSON jointly signed a letter  sent to the NCC in which we emphasized our position and informed them that issuing opaque directives to COSON which they know cannot be obeyed will result in chaos in the organization. We have also warned of our massive resignation should they continue to meddle in the internal affairs of the organization which we are capable of resolving. I have no intention of betraying my colleagues.

Furthermore, I was present at the COSON Extra- Ordinary General Meeting held in COSON Arena on December 19, 2017 when the members of COSON from every part of Nigeria spoke  loudly and clearly in one voice that Chief Tony Okoroji should remain as the Chairman among other issues. Please let us all respect the collective will of the majority of the members of COSON that we are all accountable to and represent their interest.

Mr. Efe Omorogbe is a very good friend of mine but the interest and desires of the members of COSON is most paramount at this point. It is a statement of fact that the members of COSON do not want Mr. Omorogbe as their Chairman at this time. That is clear to me. Anyone trying to force him on the members of COSON does not mean well for COSON as this clearly is capable of destroying the organization.

For the avoidance of doubt, I will continue to support Mr. Chinedu Angus Chukwuji as General Manager of COSON and Chief Tony Okoroji as Chairman.

Thank you.

BERNICE ERIEMEGHE

Head of Finance & Administration

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AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

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