Legal Drama, Music Business

Wizkid ‘Not Dulling,’ Shocked Over GTBank’s Unauthorized Use of Name, Threatens Lawsuit

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When a story broke during the second week of November that Actress Genevieve Nnaji had demanded fans pay $20.00 in exchange for her picture at a film screening in New York, I said Nnaji should have done exactly what EME has done below. In the Nnaji case, I covered the commercial exploitation of an artist name, image, voice and likeness in the USA without consent of that celebrity/person.

Last week, we had another celebrity who was subjected to exploitation of his name without consent. That celebrity was Wizkid. In the Wizkid case, I discussed the legal issues raised by GT Bank’s actions (the defendant)  and also the fact that EME and Wizkid could seek legal action under tort law in Nigeria.

The EME team were clearly were on the same page with me. Unlike Genevieve Nnaji’s situation, EME took immediate action, through a press release, to formally distance themselves from GTBank. They have also consulted with their attorneys to see what the proper remedy ought to vbe.

LEGAL RESOLUTION
A reasonable resolution is an official apology by GTBank published in a nationwide newspaper, a return of any monies to concert goers that was obtained using Wizkid’s name and monetary settlement for any damages and emotional distress caused to Wizkid. If GTBank disagrees on these terms, then the next thing is for EME to file a civil lawsuit against GTBank. Obviously EME has to think through the cost/benefit analysis of such a lawsuit with their lawyer(s).

In the legal field, a defendant like GTBank is a defendant your attorney, if you are the Plaintiff like EME/Wizkid, would love to fight. This is because they have what we call “deep pockets,” which means money. From GTBank’s end, they would want to quickly resolve this case. It is bad publicity for the bank. If they are deceitful where money is involved with a concert, how can anyone trust that their bank is the right financial institution to do business with?

They clearly have an incentive to quickly settle this case on amicable terms. If they do, lawyers on both sides would reduce their settlement negotiations to a settlement agreement, the terms of which are or should be kept confidential.

MIND BOGGLING FACTS OF GROSS NEGLIGENCE AND INCOMPETENCY

I tend to cut straight to the chase and generally do not mince words. So, it only makes sense I take to law and  trial work the way fish takes to water. To that end, I gotta ask, what the heck was GTBank thinking? Are you guys out of your freaking minds????!!! Who the heck is in charge of booking acts? Who is the social media manager for GTBank? How do you advertise, tweet, and share information about a concert on Facebook as well as offline when the act was never booked? This is gross negligence, a clear showing of incompetency and is mind boggling. How can people trust to leave money in your bank if these facts are true? How do you account for funds left in your custody when you cannot even account for whether an act was booked yet you spend on advertising and human resources both on and offline? Whose money did the bank spend?

Like seriously??!

See release below:
_________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, THURSDAY NOVEMBER 24TH 2011

The artist “Wizkid” and the management of Empire Mates Entertainment Limited (EME) are surprised, shocked and embarrassed by the unlawful exploitation of the name, image, goodwill and personae of the artist “Wizkid” without their permission through Guaranty Trust Bank’s unlawfully misrepresentation to the general public that “Wizkid” was billed to perform at the GTCREA8 ESAVERS CONCERT which was slated for Wednesday, 23rd November 2011 at the Convocation Grounds, University of Abeokuta, (UNAAB) Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The management of EME wishes to state clearly and categorically that it was never consulted or informed of the occurrence of the concert and “Wizkid” was not billed to perform at the said concert.

Investigation has revealed that the concert was repeatedly tweeted, advertised and posted from and on Guaranty Trust Bank’s official Twitter wall, official Facebook page and the GT Community page of its Official website. This flagrant misrepresentation and unlawful exploitation of “Wizkid’s” name and image by Guaranty Trust Bank has caused significant distress to “Wizkid” and EME as the artist has been accused by various fans, of not honoring a show for which he was purportedly paid millions of naira. EME has briefed its lawyers L & A- Legal Consultants who have brought the matter to the attention of Guaranty Trust Bank.

EME, “BankyW”, “Wizkid” and “Skales” remain committed to providing the best music and entertainment to their numerous loyal fans and friends across the campuses in Nigeria and particularly to the fans at the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Signed

Osagie Osarenkhoe

For: Empire Mates Entertainment Limited.

________________
I am a trial lawyer as well as the founder and principal attorney for UDUAK LAW FIRM. You can follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/uduaklaw or www.twitter.com/africamusiclaw. I am  also the President & CEO of Ladybrille Media Group, Inc. I have over seventeen years combined experience in the fashion and entertainment industries and welcome  your basic  Music Business Questions. Have a question for me? Send me an email: (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). For radio/television/online/print interviews, speaking engagements, expertise requests or consulting offers, contact my office at 916-361-6506 or  email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com)

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Africa Music Law™

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.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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