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Court rules on copyright theft


The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) have a case to answer over alleged copyright theft, the court has held.

In a 21-page ruling delivered by Justice A.I. Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division, in suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/77/2018, between Omooba Olumuyiwa Sosanya and Hysit-TYJ Nigeria Limited as plaintiffs with the FIRS, BPP, and Active Solution Integrated Synergy Limited as defendants, the judge held that the plaintiffs had sufficient grounds to press for charges against the defendants.

The counsel to the plaintiffs, Femi Aborisade, had through a writ of summons filed on 24/01/2018 prayed the court for
nine reliefs including a declaration that by section 24 (1) and 42 (1) (a) of the Public Procurement Act, the first defendant is statutorily and mandatorily required to procure goods and services by “open competitive bidding” except where a particular supplier has an exclusive right in respect to particular goods or services.


Thus, the plaintiffs by virtue of the exclusive copyright vested in the first plaintiff, are the only qualified suppliers eligible to be awarded the contract for an Information Technology (IT) driven Value Added Tax (VAT) Revenue Generation from telecommunication operators in Nigeria.

The plaintiffs had in a meeting with the chairman of the firstdefendant on September 17, 2015, submitted two proposals for an IT system to ensure all taxes and levies collected by airlines on behalf of the federal government is captured and remitted to the federation account as well as capture VAT payable by the telecommunication companies in order to ensure due remittance of same to the federal government.

According to the plaintiffs, the chairman of the first defendant was already about signing contract with a company on capturing of taxes and levies collected on behalf of the federal government by the airlines with the proposal submitted by the plaintiffs pending the time a formal call for application or expression of interest would be formally published in national dailies to which the plaintiffs could also formally respond as a bidder.

Justice Chikere observed that “the provision of Section 14 of the Public Procurement Act was made subject to the act (Public Procurement Act).” The judge, therefore, ruled that the preliminary objections filed by the first and second defendants stand dismissed as it was lacking in merit. The judge, however, did not attach any order as to cost.


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