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Court stops production of Village Headmaster

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Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has granted an order restraining Wale Adenuga Production Limited and its Chief Executive Officer, Chief Wale Adenuga, from producing or publishing a television series, the Village Headmaster, pending the hearing of an interlocutory injunction filed before the court.

Justice Liman directed the defendants, Wale Adenuga Production Limited (first defendant), Chief Wale Adenuga (second defendant) and the Nigeria Television Authority (third defendant), to within 24 hours of being served with the order of court, deliver to the custody of the court or the plaintiff’s counsel all documents and invoices relating to production, distribution, importation or broadcasting to the public the Village Headmaster without the permission of the plaintiff.

The court also ordered the defendants to disclose to the bailiff of the court who shall serve the order upon them the names, addresses of all persons and companies responsible for supplying any merchandise product of the characters in the Village Headmaster.

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The court also directed the defendants to disclose the date and quantities of such supply, as well as the names and addresses of all the persons, firms and companies who are parties or associated with the defendants in relation with Village Headmaster series.

Also, the court granted an order permitting the plaintiff or his counsel, court bailiff and police officers accompanying them to break open the defendant’s premises or any other premises of any member of the class of defendants situated at 20, Olutosin Ajayi Street, Off Airport Road, Isolo, Lagos, as well as the third defendant (NTA), which is situated at Television House, Off Obafemi Awolowo Street, FDCA Road, Garki Area II, Abuja, where anything relating to Village Headmaster is being kep, among others.

Justice Liman further restrained the defendants from merchandising the Village Headmaster or the characters therein in any format whatsoever without plaintiff’s permission pending the determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction filed before the court.

The court also granted an Anton Piller order permitting the bailiff of the court and the plaintiff’s counsel and their representatives to carry out search, inspection, copying, photographing or removing into the court premises any document relating to the Village Headmaster.

An Anton Piller order is a court order, which requires the defendant in proceedings to permit the plaintiff or his or her legal representatives to enter the defendant’s premises to obtain evidence essential to the plaintiff’s case.

However, Justice Liman ordered the plaintiff to file an undertaking to indemnify the defendants should it turn out that those orders ought not to have been granted. The matter has been adjourned till March 11, 2021 for hearing of the interlocutory injunction.

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