Legal Drama

D’Banj SUED Over Alleged Bounced Checks & Unpaid Debt of $240,000.00

D'Banj Turns 34 June 9th 2014AML People, one of the things you all have to understand is that when lawyers talk, particularly trial lawyers, it is because we speak from experience. As trial lawyers, we are always on the front lines of the battle field so we know when that legal bomb is about to go off and when you could potentially be exposed to serious legal injuries.

Therefore, when we share our insights, it is important to pay attention. In the Nigerian and African space, Africans tend to want to attack the person sharing the information. Attacking the person will not change the inevitable outcome or our predictions, mine included.

Indeed, as I have said many times on this blog, my predictions are usually on the money. You as the recipient either make the much needed pivot or deal with the legal drama, stress, loss of money, canceled deals and the high cost of attorney fees. Really, it’s all up to you.

Now let’s get into the breaking news of today. D’Banj has been sued by a technology company for alleged outstanding debt of $240,000 and some fraction. The company is now focused on “serving” D’Banj. They also seem to suggest that D’Banj is avoiding service.

What does it mean to be served? When a Plaintiff files a lawsuit against a Defendant, the Plaintiff must provide notice to the Defendant so the Defendant can come into court and defend himself. Without that notice served in compliance with the rules of the game aka Civil Procedure, the case cannot move forward and could potentially be dismissed. If the Defendant has been served and refuses to show up, then it is a default judgment against the Defendant and for the Plaintiff, meaning the Plaintiff automatically wins.

In my last talk about D’Banj a few days ago, in the post and comment section, I said, D’Banj be careful. You keep entering into these contractual agreements but you are doing nothing to protect your trademark, trade name and publicity rights. When you unveil the way you have done with Kanye West and now Apple, you dilute your brand. You can’t afford to dilute your brand given your past and current career trajectory.

This recent lawsuit underscores my point.

Now before you all get too excited. Here is the deal:

1. If you are a business owner, at some point, you will sue or get sued. It just is what it is. If you do business in America, this is almost a guaranteed fact, especially in the entertainment industry.

2. If you live in Nigeria and you are a major entertainment celebrity or artist, expect this to become a reality at a higher frequency. Nigeria’s entertainment industry is becoming more sophisticated by the day and mirroring a lot of the highs and lows of America’s entertainment industry. In entertainment it is all about deal making and/or trading of intellectual property rights. With that comes breach of contract issues under contract law, copyright infringement issues under intellectual property law and a whole host of other legal issues.

Indeed out of Nigeria, names like Asa (Defamation case over being called a Lesbian), 2Face (threat of a defamation lawsuit over a report that he allegedly impregnated a banker with his eight child), Brymo (breach of contract in Chocolate City artist-label agreement) are just examples of what lies ahead. You will need fierce litigators and solid entertainment lawyers.

3. As an artist, artist-entrepreneur and business owner in general, you gotta assess your risks. Borrow wisely. Reduce overhead expenses and cost. The idea that you have to live above your means so people know you have made it, is an idea you should reject. You can still look wealthy and have a wealthy mindset without spending a fortune.

For all artists, it is irrelevant if your income is $1million a year, if your expenditures are just as high.

For example, if you are D’Banj and you have to allegedly pay Kanye West an arm and a leg for a joint-venture record label deal, or you in fact paid Snoop Lion an arm and a leg for a video collabo, among many operational costs, it really adds up. If you ain’t got that “G.O.O.D” music money coming in, then you better believe your creditors (investors included) will come calling.

Check out the news story below. We will see how all these unfolds in the weeks ahead.  Like I said, I like D’Banj. He just needs to listen, especially when the information is freely available on the web.

-Uduak

“…We act as Solicitors to MINDHUB TECHNOLOGIES LTD (hereinafter called “OUR CLIENT”), and on whose instruction we write you this letter in the manner stated hereunder.

“It is our brief that sometime in January 2013 in Lagos, you signed a Personal Guarantee/Memorandum of Undertaking with our client wherein you agreed/undertook to pay our client the investment fund of N100,000,000.00k (One Hundred Million Naira Only) given to D KINGS MEDIA LIMITED by our client, should the latter default in payment of the debt. The said debt is made up of Nigerian and United States of America’s currencies,” the letter stated.

“The attorney accused D’banj of issuing two dud cheques: “Following the default by D KINGS MEDIA LIMITED to pay the debt to our client, and pursuant to the aforementioned personal Guarantee/Memorandum of Undertaking, you issued two post-dated cheques; one for the sum of $240,000,000 (Two Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars Only) dated 20/12/2013, and the other for the sum of N15,000,000,00k (Fifteen Million Naira Only) dated 20/1/2014. Both cheques were returned unpaid on presentation by our client.

“We are further informed that although you thereafter paid the sum of N8, 600,00.00K ( Eight Million, Six Hundred Thousand Naira Only) out of the N15,000,000,00k (Fifteen Million Naira Only) Cheque, leaving a balance sum of N6,400.000.00k (Six Million, Four Hundred Thousand Naira Only), you have failed, neglected or refused to redeem the entire or any part of the $240,000.00 (Two Hundred and Forty Thousand United State Dollars) cheque,” the letter signed by a Mrs. C.1 Ugwuanyi said.

The letter reminded the singer of the implications of issuing dud cheques: “You are no doubt aware that it is a serious criminal offence to issue a dud cheque. The offence attracts grave legal consequences under the DISHONOURED CHEQUES ACT, and our client has the option to ensure your prosecution.

“In the circumstance, we have our client’s instruction to demand payment of the aforementioned outstanding sums/debts of $240,000.00 (Two Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars) and N6, 400.000.00k (Six Million, Four Hundred Thousand Naira Only) respectively to our client through this Law office within seven days from the date of receipt of this letter.”

The ultimatum has elapsed and D’banj according to reports, instead of paying the money, decided to flee to South Africa. Mindhub Technologies have since dragged him to a Lagos High Court.

D’banj’s modus operandi has been the same, he approaches very wealthy men luring them to invest in the industry, to set up entertainment companies and develop artistes for them with the promise of huge returns on their investments, but rather he collects their money and moves on to the next target with the same

D’banj is allegedly indebted to so many wealthy people who he took soft loans from to fund his shows and expensive life style according to a close source.

The implication of D’banj’s actions on the entertainment industry is that, people willing to invest would be scared because the ones that have tried it with him have had their fingers burnt. That is just the sad reality of the situation…” – My Sugar Daily

 

FULL Document

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

LAGOS STATE OF NIGERIA

IN THE LAGOS JUDICIAL DIVISION

HOLDEN AT LAGOS

GENERAL FORM OF WRIT OF SUMMONS

SUIT NO:…………………………

BETWEEN

MINDHUB TECHNOLOGIES LTD………………………………… CLAIMANT

AND

OLADAPO OYEBANJO
(A.K.A. D’BANJ, A.K.A THE KOKOMASTER)………………………… DEFENDANT

To:Defendant,No.8, Osaro Isokpan Street, Lekki Phase 1,Lagos.

You are hereby commanded that within forty-two days after the service of this writ on you, inclusive of the day of such service you do cause an appearance to be entered for you in an action at the suit of MINDHUB TECHNOLOGIES LTD and take notice that in default of your so doing the claimant may proceed therein, and judgment may be given in your absence.

DATED this ………………………….day of ………………………..20……………..……………………

Registrar

Memorandum to be subscribed on the writ.

NB:This writ is to be served within three calendar months from the date thereof, or, if renewed, within three calendar months from the date of the last renewal, including the day of such date, and not afterwards.

The defendant may enter appearance personally or by legal practitioner either by heading in the appropriate forms, duly completed, at the Registry of the High Court of the Judicial Division in which the action is bought or by sending them to the registry by registered post.

Indorsements to be made on the writ before issue thereof

The claimant’s claims for recovery of debt.(liquidated demand)’

This writ was issued by Dennis UyiOdigie of …. D.U Odigie & Co. whose address for service is 170 Siluko Road, Benin City, Nigeria, and whose Address within Jurisdiction is c/o Benedict Emeka  Onyeabor Esq., Sam Ogungbamila &Co, No. 104, Iwaya Road, Onike, Yaba, Lagos, legal practitioner for the said claimant who resides at Plot 15 Block 110, Henry ojogho Crescent, Off Road 69, lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
Indorsement to be made on copy of writ forthwith after service.

This writ was served by the at……………………on the defendant (here insert mode of service)
On the ………………………..day of ………………20…………………..Indorsed the ……………..day of ………………………..20……………………

…………………………………………
(Signed)
………………………………………
(Address)

CLAIM

By a Personal Guarantee/Memorandum of Undertaking dated 7/1/2013, the defendant undertook/promised to pay or to be held liable to the Claimant for the sums of USD500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand U.S Dollars) and N20, 000, 000.00 (Twenty Million Naira) respectively which DKINGS MEDIA LTD was to pay to claimant under a contract it signed with the claimant, in the event of DKINGS MEDIA LTD failure to pay the debt to claimant.

Following D’KINGS MEDIA LTD’S failure to pay up the aforesaid sums of money to the claimant, the defendant paid to the claimant the sums of USD 260,000 (Two Hundred and Sixty Thousand U.S Dollars) and N13,600,000.00(Thirteen Million, Six Hundred Thousand Naira) leaving the balance sums of USD 240,000 (Two Hundred and Forty Thousand U.S Dollars) and N6,400,000.00 (Six Million Four Hundred Thousand Naira Only) respectively.

Despite numerous promises from the defendant, and in spite of repeated demands from the Claimant, the defendant has failed, refused or neglected to pay the said outstanding sums of USD 240,000 (Two Hundred and Forty Thousand U.S Dollars) and N6,400,000.00 (Six Million Four Hundred Thousand Naira Only) to the claimant, hence this action.

The claimant hereby gives the defendant NOTICE TO PRODUCE the original copies of all correspondence/relevant documents issued to him by claimant who shall at the trial rely on same.

DATED THIS………………….DAY OF……………………………2014

_________________

D.U.ODIGIE ESQ
For :D.U. ODIGIE & CO.
(Claimant’s counsel)
No 170 Siluko Road,
Benin City,
Edo Sate.
Tel:08035060050
ADDRESS WITHIN JURISDICTION
C/O Benedict EmekaOnyeabor Esq,
Sam Ogungbamila& Co,
No.104,Iwaya Road,
Onike,Yaba,Lagos

Africa Music Law™

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ABOUT THE FOUNDER

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at https://msuduak.com.

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5 Comments

  1. CLEMENT says:

    Good write up but is this a confirmed news? Besides can we see the signed contract document?

  2. MarTINS says:

    hehehhe I knew the news will be here.I have been follow your site for about 1 year now and i must say you don't like d'banj…Anyway have you verified this news?? If not then you are putting a stain to your blog.

    1. I provide business and legal commentary on pop culture stories that intersect with the law. Which means, I take a story and say, “if this is true, here is what it means.” In this case, we have an actual legal document filed with a court of law in Nigeria. We also have the law firm who filed on behalf of their client confirming that in fact D’Banj has been sued. What’s left is to serve D’Banj. Service is where we do not know if in fact D’Banj is evading service as alleged. That I shed light on. I really like engaging intelligent discourse on my site. “Staining your blog” is not such a discourse. Take time to click through the tabs and know what a site is about before you comment.

  3. Hmmmm speechless that D’banj and his team could forget this notices from investors that provide cash for them to float DKM. He need to answer to this situation, because he is a pacesetter for African and Nigeria music industry.

  4. RichyGame says:

    Uduak, this is a big shame if true.

    I reads on NET website of other loans unpaid to other big time investors. I don't want to say it serves the investors right just because I am not able to meet with people of such standing, but it goes to show what 'the show' can do for you. Music business in Nigeria especially is something one need to be very very cautious about in investing. The huge sums I'm hearing is evidence that they went right in with sentiments that go with celebrity status.

    No financial risk manager will sanction such amounts if it's not to do with infrastructure or something of the sort that has a good projection to return on investment. I'm sure they just were wowed with his 'ose!' and a 3-page document outlining his intents for the monies. Pfff…

    That's why Baseline Records 'announcement' or is it rumour to spend N200m on Skales is just a farce. I'm sure Howie T. knows better

    The people with the skill and experience to manage such ventures are usually lost in the woods on how to get just a fraction of that funding he's got thus far to make great changes… If it's not a lie the money went into label or artiste development than wahala dey. What with shaming us and telling us that no one is better for the role PokoLee is playing at DB Records. Thank God for the Priyes and Maikoris … of 960 Music and CCE et al. They don't get excited and tread with care.

    D'Banj's luck came as a result of his music. There is something fundamentally wrong with it (and it may be beyond Don Jazzy, this time, maybe) but he needs to do something about it. His label should have looked much better with the kind of money written herein. He's lucky he has charisma and is well-liked and this has made his music not affect his various endorsements and brand associations but he really needs to step up his game musically and music business-wise…

    My 2c = 34.74 NGN

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