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Tribe’s producers end rift as film soars

Producers of Tribe, Steve James and Ifeanyi Onyeabor<br />

As fans eagerly await Tribe, the film that led to the confinement of filmmaker, Ifeanyi Onyeabor, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2011, his partner in the project, Steve James, has attributed the skirmishes to breakdown of communication between him and the director as shooting was going on.

Satisfied that they have put the matter behind them, he cautioned investors and players in the industry to open channels of proper communication to forestall such ugly incidents.

According to James, “I blame the problem on breakdown of communication between us. I was new in the industry and naturally reacted the way someone would react when third parties come to tell him that he is about to lose his investment. Luckily after everything, I discovered that Ifeanyi actually meant well, and his lawyer and my lawyer sat down and agreed to withdraw the matter from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, though EFCC tried to pursue the matter out of mischief. Ifeanyi is not a fraudster. Everything is over now and we are back again as partners and looking forward to more projects that will shape the landscape of African entertainment.”

While sorroborating this position, the defence counsel, Awala Hayes, said, “In suit No. ID/155S/11 between the Federal Republic of Nigeria vs. Mr. Ifeanyi Onyeabor of IGO Motion Pictures International, The office of the Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria brought a 7-count charge against Mr. Ifeanyi Onyeabor. These charges stemmed from the petition of Mr. Steve Okonmah of Steve James (Nig.) Ltd, who alleged that Mr. Ifeanyi Onyeabor, through his company, duped him of several millions of naira on the guise that he was going to produce for him two movies titled Young Amazons and Tribes. The trial lasted three years before it was eventually struck out for want of diligent prosecution on the 26th of May 2014. The case went through 3 different judges, before it was struck out by Justice Ipaye of the Ikeja Division of the Lagos High Court.”

In appreciating the film Tribe, James, said it has the potential to be an all-time favourite film from Africa, stressing that the storyline, plot and technical details will certainly serenade the local and foreign film communities.

Tribe, which commenced recording in 2010 in Ghana, employed the services of actors and crew from eight African countries and Jamaica after a 3-nation tour for auditions. Last year, in Texas, U.S., Tribe clinched four awards, including the ‘Outstanding Film Producer of the Year’ at the Extra-Ordinary People’s Award, which the filmmaker (fondly called John Woo) promptly dedicated to his governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.

In this article:
Ifeanyi OnyeaborSteve James
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