Journalism in the service of society

COSON drags IGP, DSS, EFCC to court over ‘harassment of officials’

THE leadership of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has dragged the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to court over alleged harassment of its officers, staff and associates.

Consequently, federal High Court Judge, Justice A.R. Mohammed, ordered the IGP, DSS and EFCC to report to the court on April 7, 2021.

The IGP, the security agencies alongside one Pretty Okafor and Biodun Eguakhide were ordered to show cause over the alleged continued disturbance and harassment of the COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji; the General Manager, Ms. Bernice Eriemeghe and two other officers of COSON, Vincent Adawaisi and Anne Okomi.

The order of Justice Mohammed is based on a motion ex-parte filed on behalf of COSON, Okoroji, Eriemeghe, Adawaisi and Okomi by their lawyer, James Ononiwu.

The motion was argued before Justice Mohammed by Abuja based COSON lawyer, Mr. Bamiyi Adejo.

In the substantive suit, COSON, its Chairman and Management staff are asking the court for a declaration that the Inspector-General of Police, Okafor, Eguakide, DSS and EFCC have been engaged in an unlawful, unconstitutional and coordinated brutal, horrendous, wicked, harassment and torture of the plaintiffs who are innocent citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The plaintiffs have asked the court for general damages in the sum of N5,000,000,000.00 (Five billion Naira) jointly and severally against the 1st to 5th Defendants in the suit and a perpetual injunction.

The COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, is also asking for general damages to the sum of N1,000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira only) against the Inspector-General of Police for defamation of character and the sum of N5,000,000,000.00 (Five Billion Naira only) for the unlawful, unconstitutional and coordinated brutal, horrendous, wicked, harassment and torture of his person.

Chief Okoroji furthermore is demanding General Damages in the sum of N2,000,000,000.00 (2 Billion Naira only) against Stanbic IBTC Bank for the unlawful freezing of his two accounts domiciled in the bank.

It will be recalled that there was a major protest to the Inspector General of Police by significant creative industry personalities over the controversial attempt to abduct Chief Tony Okoroji last December by 5 policemen from Zone 5 Police Command, Benin -City and their plan to drive the celebrated former President of PMAN, syndicated columnist and the continent’s master of copyright, to Benin-City in the middle of the night at a time it was well known that Chief Okoroji has been ill.

Speaking on the development, COSON lawyer, Mr. James Ononiwu said, “this is a big warning to those who believe that at a time when the nation is facing terrible security challenges, they would rather divert the attention of the agencies of state and use them to terrorize innocent citizens and drive a great Nigerian like Chief Tony Okoroji out of town so as to take over the institution he has built. This is pure madness! The harder they come, the harder they will fall. One by one, they will end up in the hole they have dug.”

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