Journalism in the service of society

COSON energises Board with election of Righteousman, Paporella, Kimono, Nwangwu

NIGERIA’s leading copyright collective management organisation, Copyright Society of Nigeria, (COSON), rose from its 11th Annual General Meeting, yesterday, with the election of four new faces to the Board.

The newly elected members who are expected to bring new vigor to the COSON board are reggae gospel star, Righteousman Erhabor, singer, producer and TV host, Nimyel Nansel, better known as Zdon Paporella; vivacious performer and first daughter of the legendary Ras Kimono, Oge Kimono and well-known Enugu based music publisher, Sir Angus Power Nwangwu.

Re-elected to the COSON Board are ace-drummer and producer, Richard Ayodele Cole and Gospel music minister, Evangelist Olusegun Omoyayi.

The newly elected and re-elected members join the likes of Sir Shina Peters, Kenny Saint Brown, Koffi Idowu Nuel (Koffi Da Guru), Engr Sharon Esco Wilson and Chief Uche Emeka Paul on the board chaired by Africa’s unassailable copyright visioner and celebrated former president of PMAN, Chief Tony Okoroji.

Declaring the virtual meeting open, Chief Okoroji paid glowing tributes to several prominent COSON members and associates who lost their lives in 2021. Among these were the great saxophonist, Chris Ajilo who died in March; the revered member of the COSON Board and National Music Director of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria, Hon. John Ewelukwa Udegbunam, whom Okoroji described as irreplaceable.

Others are guitar wizard, Feladay and melody maker, multi-instrumentalist, sculptor, designer, performer per excellence and intellectual giant, Prof. Victor Efosa Uwaifo, whom the COSON chairman described as “a legend of the Benin Kingdom, an idol of the Nigerian nation and an unforgettable African superstar”.

“As an organization that cares for its members, both during their lifetime and in death, COSON has spared no inconvenience and left no stone unturned to make sure that each of the aforementioned fallen members of the COSON family was given a funeral fit for any superstar from anywhere,” Okoroji added.

He also paid tribute to Professor Egerton Uvieghara, retired Professor of law at the University of Lagos, first Chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), who he described as “a foremost friend and great supporter of COSON”.

Okoroji also paid tribute to the late Lanre Abdul-Ganiu Fasasi, better known as Sound Sultan; the great Jackie Moore Anyaorah, the renowned guitarist of Sweet Breeze and Esbee Family fame; the fabulous Dan Ian Mbaezue, the outstanding composer of the unforgettable songs, ‘Fuel for Love’ and ‘Money to Burn’ and a former COSON Board member and Managing Director of Premier Records Ltd, Mr. Toju Ejueyitchie, all of whom passed on in 2021.

In his address, the COSON Chairman gave in detail, the ordeal, harassment and torture that leaders of COSON have been subjected to. He said, “One afternoon, not long after I came back from a medical trip, the news came that the remaining bank accounts of COSON had been frozen, the accounts of my personal business had been frozen, my personal domiciliary account had been frozen and my personal Naira account had also been frozen. For about nine months, they all remain frozen.

“From where did the ex-parte court order emanate? Just like the case of Justice Mary Odili, from a little-known Magistrate Court in Abuja, in a case in which neither COSON nor myself is a party. The staff of COSON and I have been subjected to the never-ending and mentally overwhelming multiple and simultaneous invitations and threats of arrest from DSS, EFCC from Lagos and Abuja, Police from Lagos, Benin, Abuja, etc. The only people we have not heard from are the Boys Brigade and Boys Scout!”

He continued, “Fellow members of COSON, I can say with 100 per cent certainty that no one at COSON House has a catapult not to talk of a penknife. I do not see how anyone at COSON can be said to be in any way a threat to national security. So, what exactly is our business with DSS?

“I have also said before that we have no access to one naira of government funds. We do not do money laundering, we do not do oil bunkering; we do not do ‘yahoo-yahoo’ or internet fraud of any kind. We do not deal in drugs and we are not engaged in any criminal activity of any sort. What is our business with EFCC?

“We have never picked the pocket of anyone not to talk of robbery. What were the heavily armed men of SARS doing at COSON House? But they have kept hunting us. There is no big money in any of my accounts that will suggest that it is the proceeds of any crime and they know it.”

Okoroji further averred that “Without any question, in an increasingly lawless Nigeria with all manner of bandits and scammers operating openly and nearly all great institutions of state captured and destroyed by men who have no soul, the objective has been to use the agencies of the state to subject us to mental torture, terrorize us, overwhelm us, drive us away and turn COSON, the beautiful organization we have built for the welfare of Nigerian musicians, into their personal ATM and gold mine.

“Your board and our lawyers have fought off every attempt made so far to conquer and overwhelm COSON. It has taken an order from a Federal High Court judge in Abuja to restrain the security agencies from their constant harassment of COSON.

“Vigorous actions are also ongoing both in Lagos and Abuja to unfreeze the COSON bank accounts that are unlawfully frozen and ensure that the money is distributed to our members, innocent creative people, as soon as possible. I am a man who drives on a full tank of faith and I have absolute faith that the day of the locust will soon be history,” he added.

Apart from the elections, the AGM which is the 11th in the 11 years of the existence of COSON, members who logged in from across the country and the rest of the world received, considered, debated the 2020 audited accounts and approved the financial statements.,

Comments are closed.

Naija Times