Court Lifts Ban On Screening Of “Okafor’s Law”
A Lagos High Court has on Thursday lifted an interim order which restrained the premiere and release of a Nollywood movie “Okafor’s Law”, produced by Omoni Oboli.
It could be recall Court had on March 24 granted an interim order stopping the movie’s premiere at the IMAX Cinema in Lagos, following an exparte motion filed by a company, Raconteur Production Ltd, on behalf of a Canada based script writer, Mr Jude Idada.
It sued Dioni Visions Entertainment Ltd, Omoni Oboli, and The Filmone Ltd.
However, according to the Nation Newspaper, counsel for the first and second defendants, former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) president Augustine Alegeh (SAN) urged the court to vacate the orders.
Justice Buba granted the prayer, paving the way for the film’s showing henceforth.
The court, however, held that monetary compensation would be adequate for the plaintiff if judgement is entered in its favour at the end of the case.
Though the court has granted go ahead for the film to be released in film houses, hearing of the substantive suit continues on April 3.
Alegeh urged the court to refuse the application because the plaintiff sought to stop the premiere of an already completed film, “Okafor’s Law” whereas, his claim was based on a script titled “The Bet”.
He argued that the script was clearly different from the movie, and recounted the various losses suffered by the defendant as a result of the court’s order, which led to a failed premiere of the movie on March 24.
Idada claims the film was his intellectual property. He accused Oboli of copyright infringement.
He added that she had stolen his story idea for the movie in September 2016, adding that Oboli took the work he had done regarding “Okafor’s Law”, and developed it without giving him due credit.
He avers that the producer went ahead to set March 31, as a release date for the movie, inspite of a demand letter sent to her, as well as a copyright infringement suit instituted.
Meanwhile, in a counter affidavit, deposed to on behalf of Dioni Visions Ltd by one Tomi Adeoye, she avers that sometime in 2014, the second defendant (Omoni Oboli) came up with the story idea of “Okafor’s Law”.
She explained that “Okafor’s Law” is a principle in which ex-lovers could always rekindle their love or relationship, even after they were married to other partners.
She said that in accordance with Nigerian Law, both Oboli and her company (Dioni Visions) proceeded to register the film with the National film and video censor board.
She said that having secured their legal right to the said film, they contracted Jude Idada to write the screen play for a fee of N750, 000 although no written contract was executed.
According to the deponent, Oboli later had a meeting with Idada, where she revealed to him the story idea and concept of “Okafor’s Law”, to enable him have a good grasp of the subject for a proper development of the screen play.
She averred that when Idada was contacted thereafter, he claimed that the work he had done on the film was lost when his computer was stolen in Uganda, and promised to re-write the screenplay.
The deponent averred that when several attempts to reach Idada for the script failed, they decided to write the screen play and thereafter produce the movie Okafor’s Law.
The defendant, therefore, avers that Idada is not the owner of the story and idea of “Okafor’s Law”, and does not possess any copyright in respect of it.
The movie stars Richard Mofe Damijo, Toyin Aimakhu, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Ken Erics, Yvonne Jegede, Halima Abubakar, Gabriel Afolayan, Funke Bucknor among other nollywood actors and actresses.