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Alleged Copyright Infringement: NCC Accuses MTN Nigeria MD Of Evading Service



By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), on Tuesday, accused Mr. Karl Toriola, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd; of evading service of court documents in the alleged copyright infringement suit.

The NCC’s lawyer, Gladys Ojo, made the allegation before Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Ekwo had, on April 29, fixed today for Toriola and other co-defendants’ to take their plea following his failure to appear in court in the last adjourned date for their arraignment.

NAN reports that the NCC had, in a charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/111/2024, sued MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd; Toriola; MTN Senior Executive Officer, Nkeakam Abhulimen; Fun Mobile Ltd, a telecommunications service provider; and Yahaya Maibe, its CEO as 1st to 5th defendants respectively.

In the three count-count charge dated March 19 and filed March 20 by Emeka Ogbonna on NCC’s behalf, the prosecution alleged that the defendants, between 2010 and 2017, “offered for sale, sold and traded for business, infringed musical works of Maleke Moye, an artiste, without his consent and authorisation

The commission alleged that the defendants used Maleke’s musical works and sound recordings with subsisting copyright, known as “caller ring back tunes” without the authorisation of the artiste.

The musical works and sound recordings of the musician allegedly infringed upon include “911, Minimini-Wana Wana, Stop Racism, Ewole, 911 instrumental, Radio, Low Waist, and No Bother.”

The defendants were also alleged to have illegally distributed the musical works to their subscribers, without authorisation, thereby infringing on the rights of the artiste.

In the third count, the defendants were alleged of having in their possession, the musical works and sound recordings of the artiste, other than for their personal or domestic use.

The copyright commission said the alleged offence is punishable under Section 20 (2) (a) (b) and (c) of the Copyright Act, Cap. C28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

NAN reports that in the last adjourned date, Toriola and Abhulimen were neither in court nor represented by any counsel.

When the case was called on Tuesday, Toriola and Abhulimen were again not in court.

Speaking, Ojo said although the matter was fixed for arraignment today, only Maibe (5th defendant) was in court.

She said all efforts made to personally serve Toriola were unsuccessful.

The lawyer said the MTN MD allegedly refused to be served.

“The last time, we told my lord that we were having issues serving the MTN CEO.

“We sent our officers to the MTN office in Lagos to serve them but we were denied access. We also sent the charge via DHL,” she said.

But Obafemi Agaba, who appeared for 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants (MTN Ltd, Toriola and Abhulimen), told the judge that the MD and Abhulimen were yet to be served with the charges in the suit.

He argued that the rules of the court is that the defendants be served personally in criminal matter, adding that the prosecution “has not applied for substituted service.”

Agaba also drew the attention of the court to his preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court and the competence of the suit.

But Justice Ekwo advised the MTN lawyer to do everything to ensure that his clients are served with the processes.

The judge also told the NCC lawyer that she ought to know the necessary legal steps to take regarding service.

“Nobody can evade service except you don’t know what to do,” the judge told Ojo.

Justice Ekwo, who adjourned the matter until June 27 for arraignment, said: “However, if the court becomes aware of any application that has been filed before that date, parties will receive hearing notices before that date.”


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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The daughter of Arise News Managing Editor, Christian Ogodo, was among graduands who bagged various degrees from the prestigious Havard University in the United States.

Oghenetega Steffi Eberechukwu Ogodo, was conferred with a masters degree in Urban Planning of the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University on 23rd May, 2024.

Tega was also a Bloemberg Leadership Fellow, who did her industrial training with the Rochester City Council in New York, while her field work had the theme: “People must feed,” postulating that there must be decent and nutritious food even for the downtrodden people in society.

Tega is a graduate of the University of Lagos with a Second Class Honours [Upper Division] from the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, majoring in Urban and Regional Planning.

She is the daughter of Nigeria’s foremost News Anchor on Arise News on WEEKEND NEWSNIGHT, Christian Ogodo, who is the Managing Editor of Arise News Media Group.

She is currently working with an engineering consulting firm in Chicago that specialises in logistics.

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National Anthem: Nigeria switches from fatherland to motherland



By Francesca Hangeior

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, today, officially reverted to the National Anthem that heralded its independence as a sovereign Nation.

President Bola Tinubu, after he met a joint session of the National Assembly, signed into law, the adoption of the old National Anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

“Nigeria, We Hail Thee” was adopted as Nigeria’s first national anthem on October 1, 1960.

The anthem’s lyrics were written by Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate who lived in Nigeria when it achieved independence.

Frances Berda composed the music for “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

However, the second national anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots,” was adopted in 1978.

The lyrics of the now jettisoned anthem were a combination of words and phrases taken from five of the best entries in a national contest.

The words were put to music by the Nigerian Police Band under the directorship of Benedict P. Odiase (1934–2013).

The Nigerian national anthem lyrics were created by five people: P. O. Aderibigbe, John A. Ilechukwu, Dr. Sota Omoigui, Eme tim Akpan and B.A. Ogunnaike.

With the return to the old anthem, Nigeria officially switched from a ‘Fatherland’ to a ‘Motherland’.

Hereunder are the Three Stanzas of the old but now new National Anthem:

1. Nigeria we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ,
In brotherhood we stand,
Nigerians all, and proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.

2. Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign,
In peace or battle honour’d,
And this we count as gain,
To hand on to our children
A banner without stain.

3. O God of all creation,
Grant this our one request,
Help us to build a nation
Where no man is oppressed,
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed.

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BREAKING! Tinubu extends Abuja free train ride for six months



President Bola Tinubu has approved the extension of free train rides on the Abuja Rail Mass Transit, also called the Metro Rail, for the next six months until the end of the year.

The FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, had announced free train rides for two months, to ease the burden of commuting for residents of the FCT.

Tinubu gave the approval during his address at the inauguration of the commencement of operations of the Abuja metro rail in Abuja on Wednesday, May 29.

The president appealed for the extension to offer hope to the people of the FCT and give them reasons to celebrate.

“Our dear landlord and his team, I heard you saying two months free ride. I appeal to you to make it till the end of the year. Since today you’re not going to charge me, that will give the people hope and reasons to celebrate,” Tinubu said.

Details shortly…

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