Omoni Oboli Wins ‘Okafor’s Law’ Movie Ownership Battle
Two years after, Omoni Oboli wins the copyright infringement case by Raconteur Productions on her Okafor’s Law movie.
The judgement passed by a Federal High Court in Lagos, on May 2nd, was in favour of the Nollywood actress, her Dioni Visions production outfit as well as FilmOne distribution.
The plaintiff had said the defendants infringed on their copyright which was assigned to them by the writer Jude Idada.
Justice Ibrahim Buba said the plaintiff failed to adduce sufficient and credible evidence to prove authorship and ownership of the screenplay and/or script of the feature film, Okafor’s Law, cannot be vested with Copyright of the film.
However, owner of Raconteur Productions, Chioma Onyenwe, in a Medium post, said her legal team “provided a copy of Jude’s screenplay and his accompanying Canadian Guild of Writers copyright registration dated January 2015 with an analysis of both screenplays as well as the screenplay purchase agreement between Raconteur Productions and Jude”.
Onyenwe, who said she had gone into distribution talks with FilmOne, but the latter terminated the letter of intent which it had sent Raconteur Productions. Later on, Onyenwe said she heard FilmOne was in talks with Omoni on the said feature film.
“I am of the view that FilmOne felt that Omoni was a more commercially viable producer and shared my screenplay that was in their possession with her,” she said in her post.
Omoni, in her statement following the judgement, said that “the evidence before the Court showed that the Plaintiff’s proposed Movie Production arrangement did not materialize as the said arrangement was in fact cancelled by FilmOne due to the Plaintiff’s inability to comply with the conditions and production deadlines specified by FilmOne.”
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VICTORYYYYYYYYYYYY 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻 Glory be to God who gave us the victory! I am happy to announce to you all that today 2nd of May, judgement was passed and we won the case that Raconteur productions and Jude Idada brought against us and @filmoneng for Okafor’s Law It’s been 2 years! I remembered how I was shamed and all the names I was called! I remember I was at Tiannah’s place putting finishing touches to my dress on my way to my movie premiere when I was called that we had been served an injunction and we couldn’t show our movie. It was one of the worst days of my life! I remember breaking down in tears when I had to explain to a hall full of guests why they couldn’t watch the film. I was called a thief! May God never allow anyone label you a thief for your own work. I cried, I prayed, I fasted, I kept the watch with my friends and relatives. I lost 5kg in a space of 3 days. I was in the toilet every 30 minutes. It took its toll! But God never sleep nor slumbers. God knew I was innocent of everything I was being accused of and today even the laws of the land have pronounced me innocent. Details of the verdict coming shortly. Thank you to my winning team! My lawyers Alegeh and Co, @menaajakpovi. You are my heros. Thank you to my friends and family who moved into my home, called everyday, kept the watch, forced me to at least drink peppersoup when I couldn’t keep anything down for days! Did everything to make sure I didn’t go into depression. To my fans and everyone who stood by me. You know yourselves! I love you from the bottom of my heart! My king and my God. THANK YOU! I have been vindicated! 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻
While Omoni applauded the judgement and the “court’s commitment to do Justice without fear or favour,” Onyenwe described it as “a grave miscarriage of justice and is indicative of the lack of knowledge and apathy regarding Intellectual property and Entertainment transactions in the Nigerian Judicial system.”
Onyenwe may be appealing to the court’s decision. In concluding her post, she said: “This only reaffirms to me why this case is so important and despite this setback, I will continue to fight until justice is administered.”