Justice A.R. Mohammed of Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered the Inspector General of Police, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to report to the court on April 7, 2021, over the alleged continued harassment of officials of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Nigeria’s biggest copyright collective management organisation.
The three security agencies, together with one Pretty Okafor and Biodun Eguakhide, were ordered to show cause over the alleged continued disturbance and harassment of the COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji; the General Manager, Ms. Bernice Eriemeghe and two other staff of COSON, Mr. Vincent Adawaisi and Ms. Anne Okomi.
Justice Mohammed’s order is sequel to a motion ex-parte filed on behalf of COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji, Ms. Bernice Eriemeghe, Mr. Vincent Adawaisi and Ms. Anne Okomi by their lawyer, Mr. James Ononiwu of the Lagos law firm, WhiteDove Solicitors. The motion was argued before Justice Mohammed by Abuja based COSON lawyer, Mr. Bamiyi Adejo.
In the substantive suit, COSON, its chairman and management staff are asking the court for a declaration that the Inspector General of Police, Pretty Okafor, Biodun Eguakide, DSS and EFCC have been engaged in an unlawful, unconstitutional and coordinated brutal, horrendous, wicked, harassment and torture of the plaintiffs who are innocent citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to a statement issued Tuesday in Lagos by COSON media office, the plaintiffs are asking the court for general damages in the sum of N5 billion jointly and severally against the 1st to 5th Defendants in the suit and a perpetual injunction.
“The COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, is also asking for General Damages in the sum of N1,000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira only) against the Inspector General of Police for defamation of character and the sum of N5,000,000,000.00 (Five Billion Naira only) for the unlawful, unconstitutional and coordinated brutal, horrendous, wicked, harassment and torture of his person.
“Chief Okoroji furthermore is demanding General Damages in the sum of N2,000,000,000.00 (2 Billion Naira only) against Stanbic IBTC Bank for the unlawful freezing of his two accounts domiciled in the bank,” the statement added.
It would be recalled that some prominent entertainment industry personalities had protested to the Inspector General of Police over an attempt to abduct Chief Okoroji, last December, by five policemen from Zone 5 Police Command, Benin-City, Edo State.
The abductors had planned to drive the celebrated former President of PMAN, syndicated columnist and Africa’s copyright impresario, to Benin-City, in the middle of the night, at a time it was well known that he, Okoroji, had been ill.