The collaboration of several stakeholders in the Nigeria movie and music industry has prompted the arrest and arraignment of five Alaba pirates before the Federal High Court, Ikoyii for illegally been in producing, possessing, marketing and distributing film and music video/audio properties not belonging to them.
This The Unique Movie Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (TUMPMAN) have hailed as a success for all and a sign for better days to come for Nollywood.
The suspects, all of the eastern part of the country, Uchechukwu Chukwuma, Justine Ugokwe, Ugochukwu Ikwagwu, Chukuka David and Ndu s, Celestine were arrested between August 11 and 12, 2017 at the Alaba International Market by the Nigeria Police under the supervision of the Censors Board and its chairman, Adebayo Thomas.
After the hearing on Thursday, 30th November, 2017 Honourable Justice M. S Hassan, asked that the accused be remanded in prison pending the resumption of the cases on December 8 and 12, 2017 when their appeal for bail would be held.
Some of the intellectual properties the CD pirates were charged for pirating are October 1 and Phone Swap by Kunle Afolayan, Jenfa’s Diary 3 by Funke Akindele, Tangle With Me by Mahmud Ali Balogun, A Trip To Jamaica by Ayo Makun aka AY and Silence by Iyabo Ojo amongst others running into millions of naira.
The culprits pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the 11 to 13 count charges brought against them.
In a twist, the accused persons have dragged the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, Nigeria Film/Video Censors Board, and two others before the same court, seeking for the enforcement of their fundamental human right.
In same vein, Justice Hassan also decided that Ugochukwu Ikwagwu and his co-accused be kept in the custody of the Nigeria Prison Service until December 8 and 12 when their case and bail applications would he held.
The Federal team was led by Assistant Commissioner of Police, and officer in charge, legal briefing, Police Force legal, Police headquarters, Abuja, Kehinde Oluwole. He was supported by Nollywood producer and marketer, Norbert Ajeagbu and others.
In an interview with the Acting Vice President of TUMPMAN, he said the action taken by NFVCB is a good one. He also said TUMPMAN is ready to work with Censors board to curb piracy in Nigeria since of the objectives of TUMPMAN is to fight the activities of pirates. We have budgeted N18million to combat pirates in 2018, he added.
The industry was represented at the sitting by Acting Vice President of TUMPMAN, Isaac Adeyemi (CEO, Jaxmat Films and Music Ltd), Acting Secretary, TUMPMAN, Alhaji Lateef Akintobi of Mega Power Films Ltd, Nollywood icon Eddie Ogboma, Murphy Afolabi, AMP President Ralph Nwadike, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen and many other great producers and marketers.