AFTER ARREST AND ARRAIGNMENT: Efe Omorogbe Speaks
SOME members of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) who are loyal to Mr. Efe Omorogbe, has said in a statement that no amount of harrassement or intimidation will stop them from calling for a through audit of the books of the Society.
The group has been up in arms in recent times with the faction led by its founding chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, leading to the arrest and arraignment of Omorogbe and one Mr. Joel Ajayi, by the police on the Instructions of Okoroji, over impersonaition, forgery, conduct likely to cause a breach of peace and threat to life.
In the statement which was issued in Lagos on Sunday, April 8 2018, the board members led by Omorogbe claimed that the arrest and arraignment of Omorogbe and Ajayi was an attempt to “coerce them into abdicating the leadership of the board, mislead the law enforcement agencies and the populace as a ploy for dumping the call for a full forensic audit of accounts and operations of COSON.”
They said that at board meeting held in February following the notification of the earlier restatement and sack of elected board members led by Okoroji, through “the directive of the industry regulator, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), in a letter dated February 19, 2017 declaring Okoroji’s reinstatement and sack of elected board members as null and void, the Board proceeded to act in substantive capacity and carried out the following actions:
“A board meeting was called on March 6, 2018 at the COSON House wherein all 11 directors (including Tony Okoroji, John Uduegbunam, Azeezat Allen and Ras Kimono), management and the Nigeria Copyright Commission were duly notified. Okoroji and co absented themselves from the meeting and directed his agents to lock the other board members out. Having formed a quorum with 6 (six) directors present, we proceeded with the meeting at the entrance of the locked office with representatives of the commission, an officer from the Public Complaint Bureau, Lagos Police Command and reporters all present.
“It is this meeting that has been reported to the office of the IG as the mobilization of thugs to disrupt an Okoroji meeting with intent to cause a breach of public peace and threat to life!
” We wrote to COSON bankers to formally communicate a directive from the duly elected board to stop honouring all cheques signed by Okoroji as chairman along with others who may have been listed as directors of COSON and on-boarded as signatories to the accounts,” the faction said in its two-page statement.
“For the avoidance of doubt we members of COSON Board wish to use this medium to reiterate with emphasis that Tony Okoroji remains sacked and that Mr Efe Omorogbe remains chairman of the board of COSON. We will also like to assure members of the society and concerned members of the public that the phantom charges do not hold any water and that no amount of grandstanding, threat, attacks, intimidation, abuse of power or abuse of court processes will stop a full forensic audit of COSON account and operations. We will also like to assure Okoroji and everyone presently aiding his attempts at avoiding a probe that we would not stop our campaign for a full forensic audit of COSON’S financial affairs until justice is not only done but is seen to have been manifestly done in this regard not only by the several hundreds of artistes whose sacred mandates we represent but also the members of the general public who must also insist that the music pays the rights owners and a few….”