As a recap, MCSN has been a collecting society in Nigeria for aeons.
MCSN, it is alleged, never really did anything with this privilege and power. It sat on it not helping propel the rights of artists.
Subsequently, a new performance rights organization, COSON, came into the picture.
COSON convinced the powers that be including NCC that it ought to be the sole collecting society in Nigeria.
The powers that agreed and issued out the appropriate license granting COSON that exclusivity.
MCSN, needless to say, fights it. It says NCC, the main power that be, had no basis to deny it the requisite approval since it has always been approved and has met the NCC requirements.
It continues operating. NCC raids its offices and closes the business.
MCSN sues COSON and NCC.
The court now appears to be saying:
1. MCSN you do need approval from NCC to operate your collecting society.
2. You don’t have the approval, therefore you cannot operate.
3. In addition, because you don’t have the approval, you can’t even sue COSON or NCC. The whole concept of “standing” or in legalese “locus stand.”
In English, it means the court feels that MCSN cannot show that it has sufficient connection to the law and/or harm by NCC’s action that causes it to be able to come into court and sue COSON and NCC.
Why? Well it is that run around argument that NCC did not give MCSN the license to operate.
I am not sure I agree with the court, strictly on a civil procedure (rules of the game) ground, on why MCSN cannot have standing to sue. They operated a PRO for a long time. They claim they have met the requirements and there is no dispute that they have. Why aren’t they approved? If they are not approved, why can’t they sue NCC and why is the court claiming they lack standing? It makes no sense to me. I presume there are other facts we are not privy to in the complaint and legal briefs (paperwork) filed by all parties, otherwise, I’d say this decision, especially as to NCC should be reversed.
What next for MCSN? If it is an option, they can certainly appeal the court’s ruling.
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